Broadheath fatal fire inquest: Daughter says Potts 'just wasn't right'

Cailin and Zach with DC Iain Prescott and Sup’t Simon Retford, after a police appeal raised £6,000 for them in 2012

Cailin and Zach with DC Iain Prescott and Sup’t Simon Retford, after a police appeal raised £6,000 for them in 2012

First published in News
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A YOUNG woman whose mother and 15-year-old brother were killed after her mother's former partner set their house on fire had always disliked him, an inquest heard.

David Potts set fire to Tracy Jones' Broadheath home as she slept upstairs with her three children on September 19, 2011, killing himself almost instantly.

Ms Jones died in hospital two months later and her 15-year-old son Shaun died on September 21.

Shaun and Ms Jones had tried to fend off Mr Potts, who had broken into their Barlow Road home and doused petrol in their living room and up the stairs - but he was able to alight the vapours and all three were engulfed in flames.

Ms Jones' daughter Cailin, who was 18 at the time, suffered severe burns and was pulled from the fire by a neighbour, while her four-year-old brother Zach was rescued by firefighters.

Speaking on Tuesday, the second day of the six-week inquest which is being held at Stockport Coroner's Court, Cailin said she disliked Mr Potts because of his alcohol and drug abuse.

“His attitude towards women and other people and his lack of respect towards people and the way he was,” said Cailin.

“He just wasn't right.”

Cailin also testified that Mr Potts had hurt her youngest brother on two occasions, once by pulling his arm back while dressing him and once by dropping him and splitting his lip while giving him a piggy back.

Cailin said her mother was aware that Mr Potts had previously had a relationship with a 13-year-old girl and the girl had subsequently had a child.

She was also aware that Mr Potts had once kidnapped the child and threatened to kill her and himself.

Cailin said her mother cut all ties with Mr Potts after social workers visited her mother on August 12 2011 and informed her that he was a threat to her children.

South Manchester area coroner, Joanne Kearsley, then asked Cailin about the night of the fire.

Cailin said she awoke to loud banging downstairs and her mother and brother Shaun ran onto the landing.

Cailn said she saw Mr Potts with a petrol can and watched him douse the ground floor of the house with it and then her stairs.

She said Shaun and her mother tried to wrestle with Mr Potts and Shaun even hit him a hammer, but Mr Potts simply doused himself in petrol and alighted all three of them.

Cailin was able to call 999 before being rescued.

The inquest continues.

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