Home news Mohammed Endris murder trial: Father 'smothered children'

Mohammed Endris murder trial: Father 'smothered children'


A father killed his two young children by smothering them with a petrol-soaked rag, a court has heard.Mohammed Endris, 47, denies murdering his son Saros, eight, and his daughter Leanor, six, at their home in Holland Road, Birmingham, in October 2016.The children’s bodies were found by their mother, Penil Teklehaimanot, who was woken by a fire at the property.Mr Endris denies attempting to murder his wife by attempting to cause a gas explosion. He admits being responsible for his children’s deaths, but his defence will argue his “mental responsibility was substantially impaired”, the court heard.’Doused with petrol’Jurors were told Mr Endris, a taxi driver who did work for Uber, carried out the killings during a “sleepover” in the lounge.Birmingham Crown Court heard the youngsters, who had suffered chemical burns to their faces, were found on a sofa and a mattress when their mother was roused by a smoke alarm.Opening the case against Mr Endris, prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC said repeated efforts were made to revive the children outside their home.The barrister told the court: “A small fire inside the front door of the address had been put out and the area smelled strongly of petrol.”He said emergency services found the children “lying lifeless” on the ground outside the house.”Both children were in cardiac arrest,” he said. He added the inside of the house had been doused with petrol, escape routes had been impeded, the electricity supply had been disabled, and an attempt had been made to release gas by damaging a pipe that supplied the cooker.The children were formally pronounced dead at separate hospitals in Birmingham and Sandwell, after being found at about 03.30 BST on October 28.Mr Endris, who came to Britain as an asylum-seeker from Ethiopia in 2006, suffered severe burns when a fire engulfed his car in Newcastle-under-Lyme about three hours later.Alleging that Mr Endris intended to cause a gas explosion at his house, killing his wife, Mr Hankin told the jury: “Penil was asleep in the house when the fire was started.”She immediately tried to put the fire out using her hands and feet whilst calling out for her husband, but he didn’t appear because he had driven off.”Mrs Teklehaimanot, who initially thought her children were asleep, carried them outside with the help of neighbours.Mr Hankin told the court: “The defendant… admits he intentionally killed his children.”But it will be argued on his behalf…that he should be convicted of manslaughter rather than murder.”The court heard Mr Endris told a psychiatrist he intended to take his own life and had smothered the children after becoming depressed and deciding they “would be better off dead”.The trial continues.
Source: BBC Black Country