Three men deny manslaughter charges after shop blast kills five
Three men have denied manslaughter charges after five people were killed in a shop explosion.
Arkan Ali, 37, Hawkar Hassan, 32, and Aram Kurd, 33, were arrested after the blast destroyed a Polish supermarket and two-storey flat on February 25.
Mary Ragoobeer, 46, her sons Shane, 18, and Sean, 17, Leah Beth Reek, 18, who was Shane's girlfriend, and Viktorija Ljevleva, 22, were all killed in the incident on Hinckley Road, Leicester.
The trio also pleaded not guilty to separate counts of arson being reckless as to endanger life and fraud by false representation.
During a 50-minute hearing, Kurd, wearing a grey jumper, and Hassan and Ali, wearing blue jumpers, only spoke to confirm their names and to deny all seven alleged offences.
Appearing at Leicester Crown Court on Tuesday via video-link from HMP Woodhill, the three men were told their trial is likely to be heard under a High Court Judge.
Jose Ragoobeer, paying tribute to his wife and two sons after the incident, said: "Our lives will never be the same. What happened that day has affected so many people's lives. Every day they will all be missed."
Ms Reek's family said: "Our whole family's heart is breaking because we have lost our beautiful, bubbly baby girl.
"There is a part of us gone forever. We will always miss her cheeky smile and will miss her every day for the rest of our lives."
Ms Ljevleva's mother said: "There are very few children like my beautiful Viktorija. Friends were always jealous that I never had any problems with my little one.
"We shared a mutual understanding with one another. We miss her terribly."
Ali, of Drake Close, Oldham, Hassan, of no fixed abode and Kurd, of Hillary Place, Leicester, were remanded into custody by Judge Philip Head until a further hearing on August 31 at the same court.