Three accused of murdering four children in fire due in court

Three people accused of murdering four children in a house fire are due to appear in court today.

Zak Bolland, 23, Courtney Brierley, 20, and David Worrall, 25, are due to appear at Manchester Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

The defendants are charged with the murders of Demi Pearson, 15, her brother Brandon, aged eight, and sisters Lacie, seven, and Lia, three.

Worsley house fire
Worsley house fire

They are also accused of arson with intent to endanger life and the attempted murder of the children's mother, Michelle Pearson, 35, and two juveniles who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Emergency services were called to the family's mid-terraced home in Jackson Street, Walkden, shortly after 5am on December 11 last year.

A provisional trial date has been set for April 30.

Worsley house fire
Worsley house fire

Ms Pearson was left in a critical condition after the fire.

In a statement released after the children's deaths, the family said: "This week has been a whirlwind. We have been in our own bubble and our focus has been solely on our family, on our Michelle as she lies in her hospital bed.

"We are heartbroken at the death of our four babies."