Save my children, pleaded dying mum after Bradford arson attack which killed three

A MOTHER pleaded in vain for someone to rescue her son and daughter as she lay injured and on fire outside her home after an arson attack in Bradford, a court heard today.

Mohsan Rasa described how a blaze broke out while he was watching TV at his home in Bradford, West Yorkshire, as his sister, Iram Shah, slept upstairs in the same bed as her children Alina, 10, and Aman, eight.

Mr Rasa said he went upstairs to raise the alarm with his sister but found there was no way out downstairs.

He said he climbed out of a back window and on to a lower roof where he waited for her to pass the children out to him.

But no one came and the fire was too intense to climb back in, he said.

Mr Rasa told Bradford Crown Court he went round to the front of the house on Hendford Drive where he saw his sister burning on the ground having jumped.

He said she was shouting as he tried to help her.

Mr Rasa said: "She was saying 'my kids are dying inside - take them out, take them out'."

The jury was told Mrs Shah suffered 80% burns and was taken to hospital where she died six days later.

Both the children perished in the house despite frantic efforts by neighbours to get into the building.

The court was shown a harrowing photograph of the outline shape of Alina's body left in the soot of the bedroom floor where she was found.

Mr Rasa was giving evidence on the first day of the trial of two brothers who are accused of killing the children and her mother.

Asjid Mahmood, 22, and Arshed Mahmood, 18, both of Pollard Lane, Undercliffe, Bradford, each deny three counts of murder.

Earlier, Andrew Stubbs QC, prosecuting, told the jury the fire was started by someone who lit a pile of paper - possibly fish and chip wrappers - which had been soaked in petrol and placed outside the back door of the house.

Mr Stubbs said the brothers were involved in their family's fish and chip shop business.

The prosecutor said it had not been established which of the defendants "applied the match" but said it was a "team effort".

Mr Stubbs said Asjid Mahmood "has accepted responsibility for the deaths but he's saying that at the moment he started the fire he didn't intend to cause death or serious harm".

He said this amounted to an admission of manslaughter but not murder.

Mr Stubbs said the blaze was started after an increasingly bitter dispute between Asjid Mahmood and Zaheer Shah - the former husband of Iram Shah and father of the two children.

Mr Shah was estranged from Mrs Shah but still visited her house regularly and would sleep in the spare room.

Mr Rasa said Mr Shah had been in the house earlier in the evening but left before the fire started.

Mr Stubbs said the dispute centred around a car Mr Shah and Asjid Mahmood had bought together to hire out.

He said: "Over time this intensified to such an extent that by July of last year Asjid Mahmood was saying he wanted to torture and kill Zaheer Shah."

The prosecutor said: "From all this evidence it is clear that Asjid had decided to take drastic action as a result of his feud with Zaheer.

"As he had said earlier in the evening, his head was spinning and he wanted to kill the son of a bitch."

Mr Stubbs said: "They started a fire at the door of a house they knew was occupied in the dead of night when the children who were in the house would inevitably be asleep upstairs.

"What other intention could there have been in starting such a ferocious fire fuelled with paper and petrol?

"Once the house was ablaze there was a stark contrast between the defendants' actions of those of others."

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.