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Mother of four children killed in Manchester arson attack dies 20 months later

The mother of four children killed in an arson attack in Greater Manchester in December 2017 has died.

Michelle Pearson’s mother Sandra Lever confirmed her daughter died 20 months after the attack in Walkden in a Facebook post on Monday.

“Sadly last night, after a hard 20 months of fighting. Our beautiful Michelle gained her wings and went to join her babies,” she wrote.

Image: From top left: Lia, three; Lacie, seven; Brandon, eight and Demi, 15. Pics: Facebook

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said Ms Pearson’s death was “incredibly tragic”.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes said: “As the senior investigating officer for the investigation into the fire, I know first-hand how devastating the death of her four children was for Michelle and the news of her passing is incredibly tragic.


“I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Michelle’s loved ones at this terrible time.”

It comes after two men were found guilty in May last year of murdering the four siblings in a petrol bomb attack on their home as they slept in their beds.

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The arson attack killed Demi Pearson, 15; her brother Brandon, eight, and her sister Lacie, seven.

Ms Pearson’s youngest child Lia, three, died in hospital two days after the fire, despite being rescued with her mother, who spent months in a coma.

At the time of the trial, the court heard how the mother, 37, screamed “not the kids! Not my kids!” before being overcome by the smoke, heat and flames.

Firefighters found Brandon face down on his bedroom floor, as if trying to crawl out, and Lacie directly behind him, suggesting she was following her brother to try to escape.

Demi was found on a bunk bed, hands stretched out to the open window, and Lia was found in the bath.

Zak Bolland, 23, admitted launching the fatal attack after being involved in a petty feud with the victims’ 17-year-old brother Kyle Pearson, who escaped from the house with a friend, Bobby Harris.

“I heard like a big whoosh. I didn’t look back,” Bolland told the jury.

The other defendant, David Worrall, 25, was accused of removing a fence panel from the garden of Ms Pearson’s mid-terrace home in Jackson Street and smashing a kitchen window before two lit petrol bombs were tossed inside at around 5am.

He was also convicted of the murders by jurors at Manchester Crown Court.

Bolland’s girlfriend Courtney Brierley, 20, was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter.

Image: (L-R) Courtney Brierley, David Worrall and Zac Bolland

Following the trial, Bolland was given a minimum of 40 years and Worrall was given a minimum of 37 years.

Brierley was sentenced to 21 years for manslaughter.

Jurors heard how the three had been snorting cocaine and drinking lager before they carried out the attack, with Bolland saying: “Shall we do it?” and Worrall replying: “Yeah, I’ll do it.”

Brierley, who claimed Bolland had a “controlling influence” over her during their “toxic” relationship, told her boyfriend: “Do it quick Zak, hurry up.”

Ms Pearson had called 999 earlier that night over the last of a series of threats by Bolland, whom she had known since he was at primary school, but despite his two previous convictions for attacking women officers did not speak to him.

She complained to at least six different police officers and a device was fitted to her letter box to prevent petrol being poured in.


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