Arsonist who murdered mother and daughters in fire wins bid to reduce jail time

An arsonist who murdered a mother and her daughters by pouring petrol through the letterbox of their flat before torching the home has won his bid to reduce his jail time.

Jamie Barrow, 32, was jailed for life with a minimum of 44 years in July last year for the murders of Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, and her daughters, Fatimah and Naeemah Drammeh, aged three and one, who died because of smoke inhalation.

Barrow drank several cans of lager before taking petrol from his motorbike and setting the home alight in November 2022, after holding what prosecutors described as a “grievance” over rubbish being left in an alleyway.

He then stood outside the home in Fairisle Close, Clifton, Nottingham, to watch the fire take hold, ignoring the screams of the family who were trapped inside.

They said the original sentence was “manifestly excessive in the circumstances of this case”, but acknowledged the sentencing judge had a “difficult” exercise to perform.

Chris Henley KC, who had made arguments on Barrow’s behalf, argued that the 44-year minimum term was “out of kilter” with other comparable cases, which the judges considered a significant submission.

The judges said there should be, as far as possible, “consistency as between different cases”.

The judges also expressed their “sincere sympathy” to family members, adding: “Nothing in this judgment should be taken in any way to detract from the gravity of the offences committed by this appellant.”

Jailing Barrow at Nottingham Crown Court last year, Mrs Justice Tipples had said that she felt he showed no genuine remorse and she was sure he wanted to kill Mrs Hydara and her children.

Prosecutor Simon Ash KC previously told the trial that Barrow “walked casually away” after lighting the petrol with some tissue paper, having watched the flames take hold for “about five minutes”.

Barrow never gave a motive.

Mr Ash said several reasons could have caused him to start the fire, including the “grievance” over rubbish being left, anger over noise, and a desire to be rehoused by Nottingham City Council to be closer to his son.

Reading a victim impact statement during sentencing, Mrs Hydara’s husband and the children’s father, Aboubacarr Drammeh, said: “I was hopeless, and I was left helpless, because I didn’t have a family, and it was the people who mattered most to me.

“Since then, it has been a downward plunge into darkness and the unknown.

“It was unthinkable, it was unplanned, and I wish this on no one else, including you.”

Mr Drammeh was in America at the time of the fire and had to fly back to the UK, spending his 40th birthday identifying the bodies of Fatimah and Naeemah.

In her statement read to the court, Mrs Hydara’s mother, Aminata Dibba, called Barrow a “monster” and a “heartless human being”.

No family members were present at Tuesday’s hearing.

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