Murder accused ‘lied’ to police in drink ‘cover up’

Floral tributes outside the house in Freckleton after the fire
Floral tributes outside the house in Freckleton after the fire

A teenager accused of causing the deaths of four siblings in a house fire has admitted to jurors he told lies in his police statement.

Under cross examination Dyson Allen, 19, of no fixed address, told Preston Crown Court he had lied about how much alcohol he had drunk on the day the fatal fire happened to avoid getting into trouble with police for taking cannabis.

Allen, who wore a grey suit, told the jury he had not been tipsy, but prosecutor Neil Flewitt QC read out part of a statement he had given to police, in which he claimed he had been “a little bit tipsy”.

Allen denies four counts of murder and four counts of manslaughter after the deaths of his friend Reece, 19, his twin sisters Holly and Ella, four, and brother Jordan, two, in January last year at a house in Lytham Road, Freckleton.

He told the court that on the day in question the people in the house had shared a litre bottle of vodka mixed with fizzy Vimto as guests celebrated the children’s mother Michelle’s birthday.

Mr Flewitt asked why he had lied about drinking and he replied: “Because I said previously on the night I hadn’t smoked cannabis. I tried to cover it up.

“I just had a shot of vodka in a little glass. We were just watching television.”

The prosecutor put to him that in his statement he had made it appear that he had been drinking with the group, and he replied: “There’s a bit of a lie in it and I should have explained it in more detail.

“I don’t know, I was scared. The incident had happened and I didn’t want to get blamed for it.

Referring to his statement he said: “Some things have not been perfect because I was not in a right state of mind.

“I was probably lying about a few little things, because of the condition I was in, I could have made a mistake.”