Murder trial defendent Emma Smith sent text threat before blaze deaths, court told
Mark Crook (left), his
daughter Melissa and her toddler son Noah were killed in a house
A woman accused of murdering three
people in an arson attack on a family sent a threatening text
message to one of the victims, a court heard.
Emma Smith, 21, told her boyfriend's
estranged wife not to mess with her as "she would be sorry" and
warned she was "skating on thin ice" days before the blaze, a jury
denied being involved in the attack, which the prosecution claim
was carried out by Melissa's husband Danai Muhammadi, 24, and his
friend Farhad Mahmud, 35, in Chatham.
Melissa Crook, 20, died alongside her
15-month-old son Noah. Her father Mark Crook, 50, died six days
after the blaze at the family's terraced home in Chatham Hill.
Other text messages read to the jury
revealed Melissa's heartbreak at leaving a man she met in her early
teens because of domestic violence.
She wrote in text message exchanges:
"What do you think, I like being 20 and soon to be divorced? I had
it all, baby, husband, job, house, money."
Melissa married Muhammadi in 2009, but
left him after she said he assaulted her.
She moved back with her parents in
Chatham Hill, the scene of the fateful blaze last September 10, so
her son Noah would be safe, the jury heard.
Things turned sour when Muhammadi met
new lover Smith, a month before the fire, at a bus stop.
She and Melissa exchanged abusive text
messages trading insults, in which Melissa claimed her husband had
Muhammadi (pictured below) was
repentant, the court heard, and sent her a message pleading for
forgiveness at 2am.
But prosecutors claim Smith kept
tensions high and helped fill Muhammadi with "spite, anger and
resentment" about the break-up.
It is alleged he and Mahmud sprayed
petrol through the letterbox of the house and set it alight.
All three of the accused deny murder
and attempted murder.
The trial at Maidstone Crown Court
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