REVENGE drove an alleged fire-bomber to lead an attack on a house that left eight people dead, a court was told.
Shaied Iqbal, 26, of Springdale Road, Thornton Lodge, who denies eight charges of murder, became angry when his secret relationship with a girl called Mubeen Mumtaz was discovered by her parents, a jury at Leeds Crown Court were told.
Cross-examined yesterday about his part in the night-time attack on 40 Osborne Road, Birkby, on May 12 last year, the court heard how Iqbal blamed Ateeq Ur-Rehman for telling the girl's parents about the love affair.
Mr Ur-Rehman, aged 18, died in the blaze, along with seven members of his family.
"You blamed him about being the source of information getting to Mubeen's parents didn't you?" asked Malcolm Swift QC, counsel for co-accused Nazar Hussain.
Mr Swift said Miss Mumtaz's parents learned of the relationship on May 10.
On May 11, Iqbal made 62 unanswered calls to her mobile phone.
Describing Iqbal as ``a drop-out student on bail for a serious criminal offence in Newcastle", Mr Swift suggested those were reasons enough as to why the pair had to keep the sexual relationship hidden from Miss Mumtaz's mother and father.
Mr Swift rubbished Iqbal's account of events leading up to the fire- bombing.
He said gang members met at Sam's Autos in Viaduct Street, Huddersfield, on May 11, to prepare four petrol bombs that were later thrown at the house.
At one point in the evening, Iqbal and Shahid Mohammed, who has not been traced, left the garage.
"That gave you plenty of time, I suggest, to watch the Chisti family retiring to bed," said Mr Swift.
"No," replied Iqbal.
"Plenty of time for you and Shahid Mohammed to slip up to the door of the premises and put petrol through the letter box," said Mr Swift.
Giving evidence, Iqbal said each gang member had been given specific tasks. He was to be the ``brick man", given the task of throwing stones at Mr Ur-Rehman's car.
"You have made this story up in its entirety, haven't you?" demanded Mr Swift. "You have even made up some names for people who were involved. Describing Shahid Mohammed as bar man, Shakiel Shazad as bomb man and Nazar Hussain as can man.
"You, you're the con man."
Peter Wright QC, for Shakiel Shazad, said Iqbal was the main man behind the fire-bombing, along with Shahid Mohammed.
Mr Wright said the pair checked the house was in darkness before the attack.
Mr Wright asked Iqbal: "Did you and Shahid Mohammed have a motive as far as Ateeq was concerned?"
"Yes," replied Iqbal.
The court heard about Iqbal's involvement in forcibly bringing Shahid Mohammed's sister back from Newcastle in December, 2001.
He was part of an armed gang who travelled to her home there.
She had set up home in the city with a man, against her family's wishes.
Mr Wright called Iqbal a hypocrite in the light of his own secret relationship. "You were not prepared to tolerate this conduct," he said. "She transgressed, didn't she?"
It was alleged that Mr Ur-Rehman had helped her to run away.
Jurors learnt about Iqbal's feelings towards Mr Ur-Rehman.
Mr Wright said: "Ateeq had been going round bad-mouthing Shahid Mohammed's family.
"And Shahid Mohammed knew that he'd helped his sister run off. At the same time, Ateeq was bad-mouthing everyone involved in Newcastle and Mubeen."
Mr Wright told Iqbal: "You had the clearest revenge for seeking revenge upon Ateeq." He said Iqbal ``treasured" Mubeen. "She was somebody you were prepared to do a lot for."
"Yes," replied Iqbal.
Iqbal rang Mubeen's mobile telephone at 2.10am on May 12, as the home in Osborne Road was being engulfed by flames.
When giving his evidence earlier, Iqbal said he thought a friend was pulling his leg when he learned five children had died in the intense blaze.
He handed himself in to police at about 4pm on May 12.
Just before that, he went to see Miss Mumtaz, who was working at McDonald's in Huddersfield. He was allegedly overheard saying: "We have run Huddersfield long enough. We might as well run a prison."
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.