A property manager has gone on trial at Leeds Crown Court following a devastating fire which claimed the lives of two young brothers.

The blaze at a house in Alder Street, Fartown , in February last year killed two-year-old Jake Casey and his brother Logan Taylor, aged three.

Kamal Baines, 51, of Stableford Gardens, Birkby, has been charged with two counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

Logan and Jake died after being overcome by smoke after a fire started in their bedroom at the rented semi-detached property on February 20.

Logan Taylor, left and Jake Casey, the two young children that have tragically died following a devastating house fire in Fartown

They were rescued by firefighters but were pronounced dead a short time later in hospital.

The boys’ mother Emma Taylor and her oldest son, six-year-old Finley, were at home but managed to escape from the fire.

Neighbours tried to rescue the little boys but were forced back by the smoke.

Follow the blog below for the latest updates from Leeds Crown Court from Dave Higgens, Press Association.

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'Just fobbed off'

The boys’ mother, Emma Taylor, told the jury she asked property management company director Kamal Bains “time after time” to fit fire alarms at the house he managed.

Ms Taylor said: “I was fed up with my kids living in danger because he can’t be bothered to fit a smoke alarm.

“He said he would do it but he never did.”

Flowers left at scene of fatal house fire, Alder Street, Fartown, Huddersfield.
Flowers left at scene of fatal house fire, Alder Street, Fartown, Huddersfield.

Describing one incident in which she showed Bains a news story about smoke alarm regulations, Ms Taylor said: “He didn’t really seem bothered. As long as he got his rent money, he was happy for me to live like that with my kids.

“He just fobbed me off.”

What we know so far

  • A trial is taking place at Leeds Crown Court after the tragic deaths of two Fartown boys.
  • Logan Taylor, three, and Jake Casey, two, died in a blaze at their home in Huddersfield in February 2016.
  • They lived in a rented house with their mum, Emma Taylor, her partner, Jamie Casey, and older brother Finley. They made it to safety.
  • Property management company director Kamal Bains, 51, is on trial accused of ignoring repeated pleas to install smoke detectors.
  • Bains, of Stableford Gardens, Huddersfield, denies two counts of manslaughter and one offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
  • The court heard this morning that the house on Alder Street did not have any smoke detectors fitted, a fire investigation revealed.
  • A law came into force in October 2015 which meant it was mandatory for smoke alarms to be fitted on all floors of rented properties.

Landlord 'fully aware' of law on smoke alarms

Mr Compton said tests showed that a smoke alarm on the upstairs landing would have activated between 10 minutes, 32 seconds and 11 minutes after ignition.
This meant, he said, that a working smoke alarm would have given Ms Taylor five minutes to rescue her children.
He told the jury how new laws came into force in October 2015 which meant it was mandatory for smoke alarms to be fitted on all floors of rented properties.
The prosecutor said Bains would have been “fully aware” of this.
He said Bains told detectives that all of his properties had smoke alarms but tenants would take them down when they sounded.
Bains, of Stableford Gardens, Huddersfield, denies two counts of manslaughter and one offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

No smoke alarms, court told

Prosecutor Mr Compton told the jury that tenant Ms Taylor specifically asked about smoke alarms when the family moved in as her eldest child had started a fire at a previous property by putting a tea towel on a gas ring. He also said that Logan was autistic.
Mr Compton said: “If ever there was an address to prioritise in ensuring alarms were present it would be 256 Alder Street.”
He said previous tenants at the property had also complained about a lack of alarms and one was told she needed to fit one herself.
Mr Compton told the jury that Bains told police there were smoke alarms installed when the family moved in but fire investigators found no trace of any alarms.
The investigation also found that the conditions would have been “untenable” at just under 17 minutes after the ignition of the TV.

'Worst property on his books'

Mr Compton said Ms Taylor and her partner, Jamie Casey, had repeatedly asked Bains to install alarms from the day they moved into the property in April 2015.
He said the couple found the house was in a “poor state” when they moved in, with faults including mould in the kitchen, a condemned gas fire and cracked plugs.
The prosecutor said Bains later told police it was the worst property on his books.

The house on Alder Street where two young boys died in a fire
The house on Alder Street where two young boys died in a fire

Tragic fire deaths 'avoidable' court told

The prosecutor said Bains was the “heart and soul” of the now defunct property management company Prime Property Estates (Yorkshire) Ltd, which maintained around 140 homes in the Huddersfield area on behalf of private landlords for a 10% cut of the rent.

Mr Compton said: “He was responsible for an inexcusable failure to ensure that 256 Alder Street was equipped with working smoke alarms.”
He said: “It was a tragedy, we say, that was eminently avoidable.”

Prosecution case opens with tragic detail

Allan Compton, prosecuting, told a jury how the blaze at the house in Alder Street began with an electrical fault in a TV in the boys’ bedroom.
Mr Compton described in court how the boys’ mother, Emma Taylor, made desperate attempts to get into the room but was beaten back by smoke and flames.
He said the fire proved fatal “not because it developed swiftly and uncontrollably” but because the lack of smoke alarms meant the fire “had taken hold to such an extent that her attempts to rescue the children were unsuccessful”.

The scene of the tragedy

Here is the house where the boys tragically died:

Two boys aged two and three died after being trapped in a bedroom at a house in Alder Street, Fartown.
Two boys aged two and three died after being trapped in a bedroom at a house in Alder Street, Fartown.

And tributes, including teddies, were left to them:

Flowers left in tribute outside the house in Alder Street, Fartown, where two brothers, aged two and three, died.
Flowers left in tribute outside the house in Alder Street, Fartown, where two brothers, aged two and three, died.

The trial begins

A property manager was responsible for an “inexcusable failure” to provide smoke alarms in a rented house where two young boys died in a fire, a court has heard today.


Logan Taylor, three, and Jake Casey, two, died in a blaze at their home in Fartown in what a jury at Leeds Crown Court was told was an “eminently avoidable” tragedy.


Property management company director Kamal Bains, 51, ignored repeated pleas to install alarms, the court heard.

Bains, of Stableford Gardens, Huddersfield, denies two counts of manslaughter and one offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act.