Murder accused breaks down in tears

Flowers oustide the house in Freckleton where four siblings died in a tragic fire.
Flowers oustide the house in Freckleton where four siblings died in a tragic fire.
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A teenager has told a court he did not have any ill-feelings towards four siblings he is accused of killing in a house fire at a birthday party in Freckleton.

Dyson Allen, 19, broke down in tears as he was led into the witness box to give evidence in the trial at Preston Crown Court.

Allen was given water and tissues by court staff as he sobbed with his head in his hands before taking the oath.

He regained composure and seemed calm as he told the jury about the events on January 7 last year, only becoming tearful as he spoke of the moment he saw two-year-old Jordan Smith being carried from the bungalow.

Allen, of no fixed address, denies the murder and manslaughter of Reece Smith, 19, twins Ella and Holly, four and toddler Jordan.

He admitted previously lighting fires in a field behind his grandmother’s house in Lytham.

But he said he did not light a can of deodorant at a house party in St Annes, the year before the fatal fire in Freckleton.

Allen also told the court he did not know anything about burn marks to a handbag, settee, Sky box and blanket which were found in the house occupied by Michelle Smith and five of her children before the fire.

Allen was a regular visitor and had known Miss Smith for many years as she had known his mother, who now lives in Liverpool, the court was told.

He told the court on the night of the fire he had gone to Andrew Smith’s bedroom but when his friend was not there he had started making a mix of cannabis and tobacco.

While he was there he said the electrics cut out in the house.

Allen said: “I thought it was a normal thing. It happened quite a lot.

“I went our of Andrew’s room and there was a light coming from under the door (of the children’s room).

“It was like a yellowy orangey tinge.”

He added: “I thought they have got electric – it must be something going on in Andrew’s room. I opened the door and all this smoke and heat hit me. I jumped down the stairs shouting, ‘Fire!’”

David Fish, defending Allen, asked the former apprentice mechanic if he had anything against any of the children or Reece.

Allen replied: “I got on very well with them.

“Honestly, there wasn’t even the slightest bad thing.

“Reece, he’s always been a good lad. We played footy together. He has always been a good lad to get on with.”

(Proceeding)

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