ONE of the men who firebombed a Birkby house, killing eight people, has lost a court appeal.
An 18-year jail term imposed on an arsonist involved in starting the inferno in which three adults and five children died was not a day too long, Appeal Court judges ruled.
Nazar Hussain was one of a gang which petrol-bombed a family's home in Osborne Road while the occupants slept in the early hours of May 12, 2002.
Incendiaries were hurled through the living room window, triggering a blaze which cost the lives of a mother, two of her children and her five grand-daughters.
Hussain was not involved in throwing the petrol bombs, the Appeal Court heard, but was present at the scene and had obtained petrol for the devices.
The 25-year-old received a total 18-year sentence at Leeds Crown Court in July last year after a jury convicted him of eight counts of manslaughter and one of arson with intent to endanger life. He was also sentenced for conspiracy to commit arson.
Hussain, of Dryclough Road, Crosland Moor, appealed on grounds that the overall sentence was four years too long. His counsel, Malcolm Swift QC, claimed the sentence failed to reflect the fact that he was not "directly involved" in the attack.
But Lord Justice Rose said Hussain's crimes were "manslaughter in horrific circumstances, involving the death of eight victims".
"It cannot, despite Mr Swift's sustained submission, be argued that the sentences passed were even arguably manifestly excessive," he added.
Sentenced alongside Hussain after their trial were Shaied Iqbal, 26, of Springdale Road, Thornton Lodge, and Shakiel Amir Shazad, 23, of Gledholt Road, Huddersfield.
Iqbal was the instigator of the attack, which Lord Justice Rose said seemed to have been motivated by "one of the deceased telling tales about Iqbal's relationship with his girlfriend".
Iqbal was jailed for life after he was convicted of eight murder counts and pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit arson.
Shazad was jailed for 18 years after he was convicted of eight manslaughter counts and conspiracy to commit arson. He was also convicted of arson with intent to endanger life.
Those killed in the fire were: Nafeesa Aziz, 35, who perished with her five young daughters; Tayyaba Batool, 13; Rabiah Batool, 10; Ateeqa Nawaz, six; Aneesa Nawaz, two, and Najeeba Nawaz, six months.
Nafeesa's brother, Mohammed Ateeq-ur-Rehman, 18, also died in the flames. Their mother, Zaib-u-Nisa, 54, died later in hospital after leaping from a window. Three other occupants were able to escape the conflagration.
Lord Justice Rose said the gang's original plan was to use the petrol bombs to attack cars, but when the bombs were made ready the plot took a sinister turn.
The group travelled to Osborne Road by car, soon after which "loud bangs" were heard from the house as the bombs ignited.
By the time police and firefighters reached the scene the house was already engulfed by flames and it was too late to save those still inside, said the judge.