Two women jailed for 24 years after setting fire to a house

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Nussrat aged 39 was sentenced for killing an innocent women


Two women have been jailed today for 24 years after setting fire to a house which killed a woman.

Nussrat Khatoon, aged 39 from Cheshunt Place in Kings Heath, was sentenced to 14 years after she set fire to her ex’s home killing an innocent woman staying at the address as she slept in her bed.

Khatoon pleaded to manslaughter and reckless arson and her co-defendant Tina Andrews was found guilty of the same charges in September and was today sentenced to 10 years.

Khatoon married in August 2012 divorcing just four weeks later. She then set about a catalogue of events where she damaged cars and threw paint at the house in Speedwell Road as well as making offensive phone calls. On one occasion, Khatoon had also followed the pair and assaulted her ex-husband.

On 5 November, Khatoon decided with her best friend and co-defendant 30-year-old Tina Andrews, to drive to a nearby road where the house could be seen, driving deliberately without their lights on so they wouldn’t draw attention to themselves. They walked across a park area and approached the house where they set fire to a plant pot outside the front door whilst there were four occupants in the house.

Three of the people could not get downstairs but managed to jump from the first floor into the garden causing serious injuries and broken bones. Nusrat Begum, aged 36, was asleep in one of the front bedrooms but was found in the rear bedroom by fire fighters. She had tried to escape but was trapped inside the property; she died as a result of smoke inhalation and burns.

Nusrat had only been in the country for four months after travelling from Pakistan where her marriage had failed. Following a disagreement with her family she had gone to stay with her friend at Speedwell Road.

Khatoon and Andrews, from Camelot Way, Small Heath, made no attempt to call emergency services and watched as the fire took hold of the house. The two women watched from down the road for a minute and a half before they left in Khatoon’s black BMW Coupe which had been parked some way from the property.

A passing cyclist called the fire service and took a photo of the blaze on his phone which enabled detectives to piece together the exact timings of when the fire was started and where the two women were. Further investigation into the BMW showed the vehicle had made a short journey around the time the fire was set.

Khatoon was arrested later the same day and subsequently charged with manslaughter and reckless arson. Following her arrest, officers found key items in her car – paper rolls with cotton on it like a taper (thin candle), a fuel can and a lighter. The BMW ran on diesel but tests on the fuel can showed that it had petrol in it.

Detective Chief Inspector Sarbjit Johal, from the homicide investigation team, said: “Today’s sentences will hopefully provide some sense of closure for Nusrat’s family.

“Sadly Nusrat was caught up in circumstances totally unconnected to her and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“The fire, set by Khatoon and Andrews who knew people would have been trapped upstairs, turned into an impenetrable inferno.

“Khatoon was very resentful and angry and as a result of her and Andrews’ actions, a completely innocent woman died.”

Nusrat’s brother Gulfraz Ahmed said: “We had only recently been reunited with Nusrat as she had been estranged from us living in Pakistan. Only recently had we started to rebuild our relationship with her.

“The reason the fire was started had nothing to do with my sister so it is terrible that she has to pay the ultimate price.”

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