Teenage killer blasted by tragic siblings’ mum

Dyson Allen, 19, who has been found guilty of the manslaughter of four brothers and sisters who were killed in a house fire in Freckleton in January 2012.
Dyson Allen, 19, who has been found guilty of the manslaughter of four brothers and sisters who were killed in a house fire in Freckleton in January 2012.

A grieving mum has blasted a teenage killer for refusing to tell her how her children died in a horrific house fire.

Michelle Smith spoke out as firestarter Dyson Allen, 19, was jailed for life yesterday for the manslaughter of Reece Smith, 19, his twin sisters Ella and Holly, four, and brother Jordan, two in Freckleton on January 7 last year.

Allen, crying and barely able to stand in the dock in Preston Crown Court, was sentenced to a minimum of nine years and three months before being eligible for parole.

In a statement, Michelle Smith, 37, said: “His actions led to the deaths of Reece, Holly, Ella and Jordan.

“Why or what he did, we still do not know. We have to live with the loss of the children each and every day. Dyson Allen has shown no remorse or regret for his actions, still refusing to tell us what exactly happened.

“Every birthday that I have will be the anniversary of my children’s deaths.”

Former garage apprentice Allen, who wore a grey suit and pink tie, sat down and buried his face in his hands before looking at his friends in the public gallery and shaking his head.

The siblings died from the effects of smoke inhalation, with Reece overpowered as he tried to rescue the younger children from their home on Lytham Road, Freckleton - where Allen had been staying.

As sentence was passed by Mr Justice Males, Mrs Smith, who was sitting on the front row of the public gallery with her mum Christine, and Reece’s father Martin Goulding, began to cry as the judge said: “The children were heard calling for their mother.

“In the dark and heat and smoke these frightened young children were unable to find their way out of the room.

“By the time the fire brigade arrived Reece Smith was already dead.

“I accept you did not intend the children serious harm but remorse must be judged on your conduct as a whole including the many lies you told to save your own skin.”

Allen mouthed “No” and sobbed audibly as the judge asked: “So why did you do it?

“It is a mystery, but in another it seems clear - you were out of your head due to a lethal cocktail of cannabis and alcohol.”

He added Allen had a fascination with fire particularly when under the influence.

Allen still denies starting the fire which broke out at a party to celebrate their mum Michelle Smith’s birthday.

Neil Flewitt QC, prosecuting, told the court the fire was started “deliberately rather than recklessly”, in a bedroom where three young children were sleeping.

Previously three forensic investigators all discounted the possibility the fire was started accidentally and ruled out the possibility the fire could have been started by the children.

Allen had a history of starting fires and had often set fire to aerosols as a trick. He had also been involved in lighting fires on wasteland behind his home and had been injured on Bonfire Night 2009.

Defending, David Fish QC, said Allen came from “a broken and dysfunctional home”, had never known his father, was not close to his mother and lived either with his stepfather or grandmother.

He told the judge before his abuse of cannabis he was “industrious”, working part time at a garage as an apprentice and had a paper round.

He said: “We can talk little about the facts because of his consistent denial.

“The offences were inexplicable, he apparently got on well with the whole Smith family, he was happy there and his belongings were in the very bedroom where the fire took place.

“These offences would not have occurred had he not taken cannabis and alcohol. This remains a motiveless offence - no-one on either side can identify a motive.”

Mrs Smith added: “Over the past 18 months we have received a truly wonderful level of support from the police – Mr Horrigan, the enquiry team and in particular family liaison officers, Lisa and Ian. We thank them all for their professionalism and commitment during the investigation.

“We wish to thank the Crown Prosecution Service, the heroic attempts of the fire service, paramedics and medical staff.”