Woman in court on house fire deaths

Hillingdon Times: Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, died in a house fire in Prestatyn (North Wales Police/PA) Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, died in a house fire in Prestatyn (North Wales Police/PA)

A woman will appear in court charged with four counts of murder after a house fire killed four members of the same family.

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her 15-month-old son Charlie, and her four-year-old nephew Bailey and two-year-old niece Skye died in the blaze on Friday October 19.

Melanie Jane Smith, 42, was charged with four counts of murder, one count of arson with intent to endanger life and threats to commit criminal damage, following the fire at Maes y Groes in Prestatyn, North Wales.

She is due to appear at Prestatyn Magistrates' Court, police said.

Karen Dixon, district crown prosecutor in Wales, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has been working with North Wales Police as their investigation into the circumstances surrounding this tragic fire has developed.

"I can confirm that, having carried out a detailed evidential review, our conclusion is that there is sufficient evidence to charge Melanie Jane Smith with four counts of murder, one count of arson with intent to endanger life and one count of threats to cause criminal damage.

"We have also concluded that it is in the public interest to charge the defendant with these offences."

Firefighters managed to rescue Charlie and his father Liam Timbrell, 23, from their first-floor flat following the blaze, but the youngster died on the following Sunday afternoon while Mr Timbrell remains in a serious condition in hospital.

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