Post-mortem delays funerals of family in blaze horror

The father of three children who were killed in a house fire along with his wife has said their funerals will not take place until a second post-mortem is completed.

Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her daughter Zainab, 19, and two sons Bilal, 17, and 15-year-old Jamil, died in the blaze at their home in Leicester on September 13.

Yesterday Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, a neurosurgeon based in Ireland, said a second post-mortem had been delayed until at least October 8.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Leicestershire Police have charged an 18-year-old man with murder over the fire. Further arrests have also been made in connection with the deaths.

Dr Taufiq, who normally spent three weekends out of four with his family in Leicester, told BBC Radio 4 in his first UK interview that he did not know when he would be able to bury the four family members.

The burials are due to take place in Ireland, where he said he will continue to live and practise his faith.

The consultant said: “I was told the earliest the pathologist can do a second post-mortem will be October 8 so it’s a difficult time for me I’m sure you can imagine.”

Under Islamic law, a person is usually buried no later than 24 hours after their death.

Dr Taufiq said the last two weeks had been “extremely difficult” for him, but added his faith in Islam had given him “strength”.

“It was God’s plan to take the life,” he said. “As a neurosurgeon I know we deal with life and death every day – so it was in my mind, something which is beyond your control.”

He said it had been “very painful” to see the family home, which had been gutted by the flames.

“I’m not seeing my house again and I don’t want to see as well. I don’t want to go inside.”