Man extradited from Pakistan appears in court in Leeds after mum and five children died in house fire

A man appeared in court today (Thursday) accused of murdering eight people - including five children - who died in an alleged arson attack on their home more than 15 years ago.

Shahid Mohammed, 36, appeared before magistrates after being extradited from Pakistan, where he was first arrested three years ago.

British police had sought to bring him to court ever since the blaze in Huddersfield in 2002.

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He appeared before Leeds Magistrates Court, and was formally charged with eight counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit arson with the intent to endanger life.

During the short one-minute hearing, district Judge David Kitson said: “You have been charged with nine charges.

"This case is too serious to deal with in this court today.

"You will be remanded in custody to appear at Leeds Crown Court tomorrow at 10.30am.”

The charges follow the tragic death of five young sisters, their mother, uncle and grandmother on May 12, 2002, in Birkby, Huddersfield.

Nafeesa Aziz, 35, and her five daughters - Tayyaba Batool, three, Rabiah Batool, 10, Ateeqa Nawaz, five, Aneesa Nawaz, two, and Najeeba Nawaz, who was six-months-old - were killed in the fire.

Nafeesa Aziz's brother, Mohammed Ateeq-ur-Rehman, 18, also died in the fire and their mother, Zaib-un-Nisa, 54, died a week later in hospital after jumping from an upstairs window.

Mohammed, of no fixed abode, only spoke to confirm his name, date of birth during the short hearing.

He wore a teal green tunic with glasses and had a beard, and was flanked by two security guards in the dock.

Mohammed will appear at Leeds Crown Court tomorrow (Friday).