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Canterbury woman Pearl D'Souza known as Pearl Thomas denies attempting to murder three children after blaze at home in Keats Corner

By Paul Hooper

A Canterbury woman appeared by prison video link this morning to deny attempting to murder three children.

Pearl D'Souza - also known as Pearl Thomas - was charged with the offences following a fire at a home in Keats Corner in April.

She was remanded in custody to Bronzefield Prison in Ashford, Surrey, following the incidents.

Pearl D'Souza - also known as Pearl Thomas - was jailed for attempted murder after a Canterbury house fire

Today, dressed in a black and white striped top, she entered her pleas to attempted murder via the prison TV link.

She answered "not guilty" to three separate charges on April 18.

D'Souza, 37, also denied causing arson at the house, owned by Town and County Housing, intending to endanger life.

But she pleaded guilty to a fifth charge of arson being reckless if life was endangered – but prosecutor Martin Yale said the plea was unacceptable to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Fire crews were called to the home in Canterbury

Judge James O'Mahony, sitting at Canterbury Crown Court, ruled the trial should start on October 6, but heard it is now unlikely to take the expected 10 days.

Only three prosecution witnesses are now expected to be giving "live" evidence during the hearing.

The judge told D'Souza she will be remanded in custody until then and she replied: "Thank you very much. Goodbye."

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