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Tuesday, 24 September, 2002, 19:15 GMT 20:15 UK
Woman guilty of fatal arson attack
Tommy and Kimberley West
Tommy and Kimberley West were killed
A woman has been found guilty of killing the brother of Moors Murder victim Lesley Ann Downey and his young daughter, by setting fire to a house.

Caz Telfer, of Shawbrook Road, Burnage, Manchester, was convicted of two counts of manslaughter and two counts of arson at Manchester Crown Court.

The 41-year-old had twice started a fire in the living room of the house in Princess Road, Moss Side.

Tommy West and his seven-year-old daughter Kimberley were killed in the fire.

Caz Telfer
Telfer left the house after starting the fire

The jury heard Telfer was attention-seeking and started the fire in the hope she would be hailed as a heroine in the rescue attempt.

She had taken anti-depressants and alcohol before starting the fire in the early hours of New Year's Eve 2001.

She then fled the house - which belonged to Mr West's stepfather Alan - leaving Tommy and his daughter to their fate.

Before his death, Mr West managed to rescue a nine-year-old boy from the fire before returning to try to save his daughter.

But the pair were unable to escape and died inside the house.

Telfer was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Scene of the fire
The jury heard Telfer started two fires in the living room

She was also found guilty of two counts of arson, but not guilty of the attempted murder of the nine-year-old boy.

Detective Sergeant John Woodhouse, of Greater Manchester Police, described Telfer as "a selfish and manipulative woman who caused the deaths of an innocent man and his young child."

He added: "The fact that the second child managed to escape the blaze was through good luck and the efforts of Tommy - Telfer never even tried to help him or the little girl.

"This was a very sad case to investigate, but I hope this can bring closure for the family and allow them to carry on with their lives, remembering Kimberley as the beautiful little girl that she was and Tommy as the hero who died trying to save his child."

Sentencing was adjourned pending psychiatric reports.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Eleanor Moritz
"For the West family it was another tragedy"

Click here to go to Manchester
See also:

20 Sep 02 | England
17 Sep 02 | England
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