Girl, 3, died 'after aunt's ex-boyfriend started house blaze'

Francesca Bimpson suffered burns in the fire and died three weeks later

Francesca Bimpson suffered burns in the fire and died three weeks later

A three-year-old girl died after her aunt's 'bitter' ex-boyfriend started a fire at her home, a court heard today.

Francesca Bimpson suffered massive burns when she was unable to escape the smoke and flames caused by the arson attack, Liverpool Crown Court was told.

Graham Heaps, 44, a labourer and the ex-partner of Francesca's aunt Linda Skelhorne, is accused of deliberately starting the blaze in a revenge attack against the family.

The prosecution claims he poured petrol through the front door of the house in Norwood Grove, Liverpool, and set it alight late at night when Francesca and her family were asleep.

Her mother Eleanor Skelhorne, 37, suffered minor injuries and smoke inhalation in the fire and her father, Kieron Bimpson, also 37, suffered leg injuries jumping from a first-floor window.

Francesca's sisters Anne-Marie, 17 months, Christina, eight, and 14-year-old brother Kieron were treated for the effects of smoke.

Mr Bimpson, a fitness instructor, had jumped out of the house first so he could catch the children when they jumped.

But terrified Christina, who was trapped in a front bedroom which she shared with Francesca, was not strong enough to lift the toddler to the window, Brian Cummings QC, prosecuting, said.

Fire crews arrived at the house as Ms Skelhorne was screaming from the street: 'Get my baby out. My baby is inside'.

Four fire fighters entered the burning property to search for Francesca and found her lying on her bed.

Mr Cummings said she was limp and breathing only faintly.

He added the little girl had suffered 85 per cent burns over her body.

'It was always likely that she would die and she did so three weeks later,' he said.

'The cause of death was complications as a result of her burns.'

Heaps denies murder. The trial continues.

Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.