THE HEARTBROKEN family of four killed when a thug threw a gasoline bomb on their home accused their killer of taking “the lights of our lives”.
Speaking after cowardly Zak Bolland, 23, was jailed for life for starting the fire, grandmother Sandra Lever cried: “I was an 11 year old nanny, now I am a nanny from seven years.”
Bolland and his boyfriend David Worrall, 25, were jailed for a minimum of 40 and 37 years, while accomplice Courtney Brierley, 20, was sentenced to 21 years.
Manchester Crown Court has learned how Bolland started the cowardly arson after being embroiled in a petty feud with the victims’ 17-year-old brother, Kyle Pearson.
In poignant CCTV footage filmed hours earlier, the trio were caught buying beer bottles that were used to create gas bombs.
Bolland and Worrall removed a fence panel from the garden of Michelle Pearson’s home before smashing a kitchen window.
Two lit Molotov cocktails were thrown inside around 5 a.m. on December 11 last year.
The second bomb “exploded” near the stairs, blocking the only exit to the ground floor and trapping the victims upstairs as flames engulfed the three-bedroom mid-terrace house in Walkden, in the Grand Manchester.
Disturbing footage shows how the house was ravaged by arson.
Sandra added: “I hope Bolland, Worrall and Brierley know they took the lights from our lives.
“We are very happy today with the results and would like to thank everyone who helped us achieve justice.”
Demi Pearson, 15, her brother Brandon, eight, and sister Lacie, seven, sleeping in a front room, all perished in the blaze.
Their mother, Mrs Pearson, 36, shouted, “Not the children! Not my children! before being defeated by smoke, heat and flames.
She was rescued, seriously injured, along with her youngest daughter, three-year-old Lia, who died in hospital two days later.
Kyle Pearson, who had quarreled with Bolland, managed to escape with a friend, Bobby Harris, who was also staying at home.
Bolland, Brierley and father-of-one Worrall have denied four counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder involving Michelle Pearson – who recently woke up from a coma – Kyle Pearson and Bobby Harris.
There are also fears that mum Michelle may still die from her injuries.
Prosecutor Paul Reid QC told the court today: “The prognosis is that if she were to suffer from another infection … there is a real risk that she will not survive.”
While being told what happened to her children, doctors say it is not clear if she still fully understands the horror of the arson and remains in the hospital.
During the trial, the jury of five women and seven men heard that the firebombing was the culmination of a series of attacks between Bolland and Kyle Pearson, involving broken windows, abusive graffiti and wheelie bins set on fire.
Bolland, of Blackleach Drive, Walkden, admitted to throwing the second gasoline bomb but denies intending to injure anyone and told the jury he believed the house was unoccupied at the time.
Worrall, of Coronation Street, Swinton, Salford, denies throwing Molotov cocktails and although he knew children were inside he thought they had gone to set a wheelie bin on fire, he said. -he declares.
Brierley, of Worsley Avenue, Walkden, also told the jury she had no idea a house was going to be burned down and denied cheering on her boyfriend “controller”.
The prosecution alleged that all three were in the same boat and that each had tried to minimize or shift the blame, but all were guilty of murder.
Trial Judge Judge William Davis told the jury: “I think I said at the outset that this was a case that is sure to stir up emotions and clearly did.
“Of course, you will have the result of all of this in mind, but your assessment of the evidence must be unbiased.”
In a joint statement at the time of the attack, the heartbroken Pearson family said, “Demi, such a beautiful young woman with so many friends. She was like another mom to the younger ones, such a star.
“Brandon was going to be the next Stephen Hawking, he was so smart.
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“Brandon and Lacie were like twins, they were close in age, but had an even closer bond.
About 20 members of the Pearson family were present in court.
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