Murder accused denies starting fatal house fire which killed mother and daughter

A man has denied starting a fire at a house in Wakefield in which a father and daughter died.

Giving evidence today at Leeds Crown Court, Daniel Jones was asked by his barrister Jamie Hill, QC “Did you set fire to Number 55 Ash Crescent?”

Jones replied: “No, not at all.”

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The prosecution claim Jones used petrol to start the blaze in the early hours of October 19 last year to destroy CCTV footage which might incriminate him for an alleged burglary at another house in the street when a safe was stolen.

Andrew Broadhead, 42 and his eight year-old daughter Kiera died in the fire.

His wife Sara and their other daughter Mia managed to escape.

Jones told the jury he was not responsible for stealing the safe in the burglary across the road from the Broadhead’s home.

“I had no involvement,” he said and said he did not know who had taken it.

He accepted he had some financial issues blaming not receiving some wages he was owed from a previous job.

He also accepted he was addicted to gambling, having started with football bets before progressing to playing roulette machines, but denied that led him to steal the safe.

That had been taken from the home of a friend of his on October 16.

Jones told the jury that friend had told him he had tried to get hold of the CCTV from the Broadhead’s home opposite but they were away on holiday.

The jury has heard the family had only arrived home from holiday in Malaga the afternoon before the fatal fire.

Jones, 29 of Spawd Bone Lane, Knottingley denies two charges of murder, alternative charges of manslaughter and burglary.

Jones admitted that he had made internet searches for massage parlours hours before the fire.

He accepted that he went to Winstons massage parlour, on Dewsbury Road, Leeds, in the early hours of October 19.

Jones told the court: "I went to Winstons on that night at that time because I did not want to gamble a load of money that I had been paid the previous evening and I had time to kill."

The trial continues