THREE men charged with the murder of eight family members have not shown a shred of remorse, a jury at Leeds Crown Court was told.
Mr Paul Worsley QC, in his closing speech for the prosecution in the Birkby murder trial, said that the defendants had all sought to pass the buck without a thought for their victims.
"I suggest that they have shown not a shred of genuine remorse for what they did," he said.
"I submit that their conflicting accounts are because each of them has decided to try to pull the wool over your eyes."
Eight people, members of the same family, died in the fire at their home in Osborne Road, Birkby, in May last year.
Mr Worsley told the jury: "You have seen the restrained dignity of Mr Chishti who lost his wife, his son, daughter and five granddaughters and we are sure that the memory will long remain with you," he said.
"You will compare that with the spectacle of the three defendants who gave evidence before you - blaming each other, blaming everyone but themselves in an effort to save their skins - and that too will doubtless long remain with you."
Mr Worsley said two seats of fire which tore through the house were deliberately set so that escape would prove fatal and deaths would be nearly certain.
He added: "The events of May 11/12 2002 did not occur by chance. There was, you may think, planning: the obtaining of petrol; the premises where the preparations could be carried out and observed; the introduction of nuts to the petrol bombs to make them heavier; the wiping of the can to remove finger prints . . . the reconnaissance of 40 Osborne Road to see `if my man' is asleep."
Mr Worsley said that the defence counsel would not be able to overcome the facts of the prosecution case and the "transparency of the guilt of each of these defendants in the dock".
Mr Worsley told the jury it was for the prosecution to prove guilt so that members were "sure".
He told them to set aside any sympathy for Mr Chishti and for the defendants who have been remanded in custody away from their families.
"You decide what is relevant and what is irrelevant and what is misleading."
Mr Worsley asked the jury to find Nazar Hussain, Shakiel Shazad and Anwar Hussain, not guilty to conspiracy to commit damage to motor vehicles.
"What this case is about is conspiracy to commit arson."
He said that Iqbal, Shazad and Hussain, who are charged with murder, had conspired together to commit a crime at 40 Osborne Road with intent to endanger the life of anyone that was inside.
"The intention is that life would be endangered," he said.
"Not that the people would necessarily die but their lives would be endangered.
"That is the intent that the prosecution must prove."
Expert witnesses said a fire was started in the hallway and in the sitting room below a bedroom.
"You may be satisfied that anybody who did participate in that plan must have intended, at the very least, to endanger the lives of those inside."
The trial continues.
FOUR men are on trial at Leeds Crown Court:
* Shaied Iqbal, 26, of Springdale Road, Thornton Lodge, denies eight charges of murder, conspiracy to commit arson with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit arson to motor vehicles. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal damage to motor vehicles.
* Shakiel Shazad, 23, of Gledholt Road, Gledholt, denies eight counts of murder and conspiracy to commit arson. He pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal damage to motor vehicles, but guilty to conspiracy to commit arson to motor vehicles.
* Nazar Hussain, 24, of Dryclough Road, Crosland Moor, denies eight counts of murder and conspiracy to commit criminal damage to motor vehicles. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson to motor vehicles.
* Anwar Hussain, 22, of Dryclough Road, Crosland Moor, denies conspiracy to commit arson to cars.
The fire claimed the lives of eight people at their home in Osborne Road, Birkby. The victims were: Mrs Zaib-u-Nisa, 54; her son, Ateeq, 18; her daughter, Mrs Nafeesa Aziz, 35; and her five grand-daughters - Tayyaba, 13, Rabiah, 10, Ateeqa, six, Aneesa, two, and Najeeba, six months.