A SCHOOLGIRL bully has been convicted of manslaughter after helping to kill her playground victim's mother and father in an arson attack.
Natalie Connor, 18, and her parents, Jane and Michael Connor, both 40, plotted to pour petrol through the letterbox at the home of classmate Lucy Cochrane over a "trivial and nonsensical" hate obsession.
Lucy, then 16, was pulled severely injured from the flames by firemen but was left an orphan after her mother Maureen, 45, and father Alex, 54, died in the inferno on January 12.
Natalie had made up "entirely false" claims that Lucy, a special needs pupil, was bullying her at Newall Green High School in south Manchester.
Michael and Jane Connor were both convicted of the double murders of Alex and Maureen Cochrane and Natalie was found guilty of the double manslaughter, following a six-week trial at Manchester Crown Court.
The jury heard Lucy was in fact the real victim of bullying from Natalie Connor and others.
Jobless Michael Connor, a heavy drinker, was plied with alcohol by his ex-wife, a single mother of three, who "incited" her ex-husband to take "revenge".
They bought £3 worth of petrol and while Jane Connor kept watch outside he poured two litres of the fuel through the Cochrane's letterbox, then lit a match while the victims were asleep upstairs.
Within two minutes the Cochrane's home, in Wythenshawe, south Manchester, was engulfed in a 1000°C "vortex" of flames and despite Mrs Cochrane making a desperate 999 call they stood little chance of escape, the court heard.
The victims, an "honest and decent" family, had suffered a prolonged "campaign of harassment" from the Connors, the court heard.
Just five days before the fatal attack the victims had reported petrol being poured on their front door.
Outside court Thomas Williams, Maureen Cochrane's father, said: "It was the best result possible, the only one they could allow under the law. I just still feel angry, whatever sentence they get will not bring Maureen and Alex back and make Lucy's life all right.
"The Connors are scum, they are evil bullies and I can't forgive them for what they have done."
Sentencing of the three defendants was adjourned until next Wednesday.
Margaret Robinson, Jane Connor's mother, will also be sentenced after earlier pleading guilty to assisting offenders.
Judge David Maddison thanked the jury in what he called a "distressing and complicated" trial.
He excused them from jury service for 10 years.
Lucy now lives in London with an uncle.
In a Victim Impact Statement, Mr Williams also criticised police for not taking action against the Connors after it was reported to them that petrol was discovered on his daughter's front door just five days before the fatal attack.