Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mother not guilty of fire murders

22 February 2011 Last updated at 12:20 GMT Fiona Adams, who escaped from the fire with her baby son Ms Adams denied starting the fire A woman has been found not guilty of murdering two of her children in a fire at her Derbyshire house.

Fiona Adams escaped with her baby son Kiernan but her daughter Niamh, five, and son Cayden, two, died in the blaze at Edale Way, in Buxton, last April.

The 24-year-old denied the charges and was found not guilty at Nottingham Crown Court.

She was also found not guilty of grievous bodily harm and arson with intent.

The prosecution claimed Ms Adams started the blaze deliberately to create a "drama" to get attention from her partner James Maynard, 28, who had cheated on her in the past.

Laundry basket

She jumped from a bedroom window on to a trampoline while holding her baby son.

Her other two children were found dead near the window ledge of the bedroom window.

The prosecution claimed she started the fire in a laundry basket and called a burns expert who stated injuries to her hands supported this.

But the defence said an eyewitness saw flames coming from the window from which she jumped and suggested this could have been how she burnt her hands.

Ms Adams told the court she heard the smoke alarm going off as she got ready for bed.

"I went straight out of my bedroom... It was just like an orange glow coming from downstairs," she said.

She told the jury she took Niamh and Cayden, who shared a bedroom, into her room because their windows were locked.

"I remember being stood at the window and then I opened the window.

"I just remember the smoke getting worse and worse. As the smoke got worse, the less I could see.

"They [Niamh and Cayden] were stood with me. When I turned back around, they weren't there any more."

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