Listen: Fiaz Munshi guilty of manslaughter over Magdalen Road arson as police apologise for blunder + Audio

First published in
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter. Call me on (01865) 425373

FIAZ MUNSHI has been found guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of murder over the deaths of two children in an arson attack in East Oxford in 1997.

The 38-year-old was convicted after a six-week trial at Oxford Crown Court of being involved in an arson attack in Magdalen Road, East Oxford, on August 26, 1997.

She denied murdering eight-year-old Anum Khan and her 15-year-old brother Majid after she was shamed in a family feud.

On both murder counts the jury found her not guilty.

But this afternoon there were gasps from the public gallery as the jury announced its unanimous decision after one-and-a-half days of deliberating.

Munshi had fled the country following the arson but returned in 2005. Police were told she was backed but did not follow that up and arrest her until 2013.

Today Detective Inspector Craig Kirby said he had apologised to the Khan family for that blunder.

He said: "I know the original investigation team did all they could to bring her to justice at the time.

"We regret the fact that the mistake that happened has led to this delay but that was not going to stop us proceeding with this case and facing whatever criticism there may be."

Munshi is now the seventh person to be convicted in relation to the fire, after five men received life sentences for murder in 1998 and her sister Riaz was jailed for manslaughter in 1999.

Munshi was not charged until October last year because a police error meant she was not arrested for nine years after returning to the UK from Pakistan.

The jury was told the Khan’s home was targeted amid a dispute between Munshi her sister Riaz and the family living there.

She will be sentenced on Thursday.

Mr Kirby, from the police's major crime unit, said: "I cannot put in to words how difficult this case has been for the family of Anum and Majid and I know how important this verdict is to them.

"I am grateful that we have finally been able to bring their long wait for justice to an end as the last person involved in this horrendous fire in 1997 has been convicted.

"I cannot praise the family enough, for their dignity, patience and courage throughout this lengthy investigation and trial, despite the unimaginable nightmare they have had to endure.

"Enquiries undertaken following the call from the family in 2012 have not established why action was not taken by TVP in 2005 to investigate the evidence against Fiaz Munshi however as soon as we identified this new opportunity to bring her to justice a full review of the case was conducted.

"I hope the verdict today sends a very clear message to anyone who thinks they have escaped justice that no matter how much time has passed we will continue to pursue you and bring you before the courts, no matter how long it takes."

Our top stories:

Traffic on A34 after accident closes one lane

Oxford Mail: A34 traffic alert

5:40pm Tuesday 26th May 2015

DRIVERS are facing congestion after a two-vehicle crash closed one lane of the A34 northbound.

UPDATE: Severe delays on Botley Road this evening as latest phase of Frideswide Square works causes traffic chaos

Oxford Mail:

9:43am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Botley Road is at a standstill again as the latest phase of roadworks at Frideswide Square causes traffic chaos.

Police granted power to evict tenants from property in Banbury

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:27pm Tuesday 26th May 2015

TENANTS of a property in Banbury could be barred from entering their home by police.

Hundreds say goodbye to former Blackbird Leys councillor Val Smith during funeral

Oxford Mail:

2:10pm Tuesday 26th May 2015

HUNDREDS of mourners lined Blackbird Leys Road to pay their respects to former councillor Val Smith this morning.

Three-vehicle crash blocks lane on A34 near Botley interchange

Oxford Mail: A34 traffic alert

12:24pm Tuesday 26th May 2015

A CRASH is currently blocking a lane on the A34 near the Botley Interchange.

One lane closed on A40 near Witney due to pot hole repairs

Oxford Mail: A40 alert

11:56am Tuesday 26th May 2015

A LANE on the A40 near Witney has been closed this morning for essential pot hole repairs.

 

 

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree