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Friday, 14 September 2018

'One day we will be reunited': Mother's tribute to her four children killed in a petrol bomb as she is forced to miss their funeral due to horrific burns while firefighters who tried to save them form a poignant guard of honour

  • Demi Pearson, 15; Lacie, seven; Lia, three; and Brandon, eight, were all murdered as they slept in their beds 
  • Mother Michelle Pearson unable to attend still battling horrific injuries suffered as blaze ripped through home
  • Her tribute read at funeral: 'They were the twinkle in my eye. One day we will be reunited together forever'
  • Zak Bolland, 23, and David Worrall, 26, given four life sentences after throwing petrol bombs inside the home
  • Hundreds of mourners wearing black and pink have lined the streets of Manchester to pay their respects 
Four siblings murdered when two men petrol bombed their home as they slept are being laid to rest together today, as their mother remains in hospital too ill to attend because of her horrific burns. 
Michelle Pearson, 36, only learned her children Demi, 15, Brandon, eight, Lacie, seven, and Lia, three, had been killed when she awoke from a medically-induced coma four months after the sickening attack.
A tribute written by her was read at their funeral today in which she described the children as 'so close', adding: 'They were the twinkle in my eye, now they are angels in the sky. One day we will be reunited together forever.' 
She described 15-year-old Demi as 'my best friend'. 
The youngsters were trapped in their bedrooms after Zak Bolland and David Worrall hurled Molotov cocktails into their house, with one exploding near the stairs and blocking their only escape route.  
Hundreds of grief-stricken mourners dressed in blue and pink lined the streets in Walkden, Greater Manchester as the procession filed past in horse-drawn carriages in age order, with oldest sibling Demi in front. 
Demi's music-themed coffin was carried into the service by her teenage classmates while family carried an Avengers coffin for Brandon, My Little Pony for Lacie and Peppa Pig for Lia.
The firefighters who tried to save them formed a guard of honour outside the church as Ariana Grande's cover of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' played.
The family then played Frozen's Let It Go for Lia, whom they called: 'Our little blue-eyed girl with blonde curls.'
School friends, firefighters and family members were united in their grief as they carried coffins of the youngsters out of the church before burying them together 
School friends, firefighters and family members were united in their grief as they carried coffins of the youngsters out of the church before burying them together 
Hundreds of grief-stricken mourners dressed in blue and pink have lined the streets in Walkden, Greater Manchester to pay their respects to the youngsters
Hundreds of grief-stricken mourners dressed in blue and pink have lined the streets in Walkden, Greater Manchester to pay their respects to the youngsters
Firefighters who tried to save the lives of the four children formed a guard of honour ahead of the cortège arriving for the funeral service
Firefighters who tried to save the lives of the four children formed a guard of honour ahead of the cortège arriving for the funeral service
Lia was carried into the church in a Peppa Pig coffin and her played Frozen's Let It Go for the three-year-old, whom they called: 'Our little blue-eyed girl with blonde curls'
Lia was carried into the church in a Peppa Pig coffin and her played Frozen's Let It Go for the three-year-old, whom they called: 'Our little blue-eyed girl with blonde curls'
Brandon, eight, Lacie, seven, and Lia, three, (pictured) were murdered as they slept in their beds when the fire ripped through their home
David Worrall, 26
Courtney Brierley, 20, was jailed for 21 years for four counts of manslaughter
From left: Zak Bolland, 23, and David Worrall, 26, were both given four life sentences for murder after a trial in May and must serve a minimum of 40 and 37 years respectively before parole. Bolland's girlfriend Courtney Brierley, 20, was jailed for 21 years for four counts of manslaughter
The community has struggled to come to terms with the horrific murder of Demi, pictured, and her brother and sisters
Michelle Pearson, 36, is not to able to attend her children's funeral as she continues to battle horrific injuries suffered in the blaze
Michelle Pearson, 36, (right) is not to able to attend the funeral of her children including daughter Demi (left) as she continues to battle horrific injuries suffered in the blaze
Bolland, 23, and Worrall, 26, were both given four life sentences for murder after a trial in May and must serve a minimum of 40 and 37 years respectively before parole. 

MOTHER'S HEARTBREAKING TRIBUTE TO HER 'FOUR ANGELS' 

The words of Michelle Pearson, still being treated in hospital for her injuries, were read by her sister Claire Pearson.
She said: 'I'm so proud of them. It's hard to put into words what's happened and how it makes me feel.
'They were the twinkle in my eye, now they are angels in the sky. One day we will be united forever.' 
Of Lia, three, she said: 'She is clever, with big blue eyes and a smile that melted your heart.'
Of Lacie, she said: 'She loves to dance and sing. She would turn the TV on and just sing and dance along. It makes me smile just thinking about it.'
She described Brandon, eight, as 'a little architect in the making. He promised me he would build me a house'.
Paying tribute to 15-year-old Demi, she said: 'We did a lot together. She was my best friend.'
Bolland's girlfriend Courtney Brierley, 20, was jailed for 21 years for four counts of manslaughter.
The trio were caught on CCTV cameras laughing and joking in the run-up to the attack, and Bolland even gloated when police decided to take no further action about an attack on the house two weeks earlier.  
Mrs Pearson escaped with her youngest daughter Lia who died in hospital two days later. Her anguished screams: 'Not the kids! Not my kids!' could be heard around the neighbourhood as flames engulfed the house at 5am last December 11.
She dialled 999, but she was overcome with heat and smoke before completing the call. 
Her family said she had wanted to attend the funeral despite suffering a series of infections that could threaten her life. 
But her mother Sandra Lever said yesterday that due to 'unforeseen medical circumstances' she would now not be able to attend.
The mother-of-six had struggled to grasp four of her children were dead and has been in hospital for the past year.  
The community has struggled to come to terms with the murder of the 'four angels' in December last year and many were unable to contain their emotions as the procession went past Bridgewater Primary School, where Lacie and Brandon were pupils, for a minute's silence held by their friends before ending at St Paul's Church.
Mrs Pearson had made a series of complaints to police and her housing provider Salford Council, asking to be moved because Bollard had been 'terrorising' her family. 
Miss Lever said she blamed the police, and also Salford City Council, who when her daughter asked to be re-housed, was told she was not in danger and to 'go back home.' 
She said: 'They all knew about it and they all done nothing about it. They dropped the charges, I don't know why.'
One coffin, thought to be eight-year-old Brandon's, bore drawings of Marvel comic characters including Iron Man and Captian America 

One coffin, thought to be eight-year-old Brandon's, bore drawings of Marvel comic characters including Iron Man and Captian America 
After the trial Sandra Lever said her daughter and the family would never recover from losing the four children
After the trial Sandra Lever said her daughter and the family would never recover from losing the four children
Mourners were overcome with emotion as the procession walked into the church today 
Seven-year-old Lacie's carriage featured white and pink flowers, and followed her older brother Brandon's
Seven-year-old Lacie's carriage featured white and pink flowers, and followed her older brother Brandon's
The procession made its way past Bridgewater Primary School, where Lacie and Brandon were pupils, for a minute's silence held by their friends. Pictured, Demi's carriage led the way 
The procession made its way past Bridgewater Primary School, where Lacie and Brandon were pupils, for a minute's silence held by their friends. Pictured, Demi's carriage led the way 
The custom-made coffins of Demi, Brandon, Lacie and Lia Pearson are carried into St Paul's Church in Walkden
The custom-made coffins of Demi, Brandon, Lacie and Lia Pearson are carried into St Paul's Church in Walkden
Brandon, eight, was described by his mother 'a little architect in the making. He promised me he would build me a house'
Brandon, eight, was described by his mother 'a little architect in the making. He promised me he would build me a house'
The Revd Gill Page, vicar of Walkden and Little Hulton, said: ''Walkden will never forget these little angels. Demi, Brandon, Lacie and Lia Pearson - four siblings and four best friends'
The Revd Gill Page, vicar of Walkden and Little Hulton, said: ''Walkden will never forget these little angels. Demi, Brandon, Lacie and Lia Pearson - four siblings and four best friends'
A Peppa Pig - little Lia's favourite toy - was carried into St Paul's Church alongside pictures of the children 
A Peppa Pig - little Lia's favourite toy - was carried into St Paul's Church alongside pictures of the children 
There were heartbreaking scenes outside the church as firefighters formed a guard of honour ahead of the cortege  
There were heartbreaking scenes outside the church as firefighters formed a guard of honour ahead of the cortege  
The town fell silent as people made their way out onto the streets and spilled out of the church to pay their respects 
The town fell silent as people made their way out onto the streets and spilled out of the church to pay their respects 
Mourners filled the streets to say goodbye to Demi, Brandon, Lacie and Lia, struggling to contain their grief as the procession went past 
Mourners filled the streets to say goodbye to Demi, Brandon, Lacie and Lia, struggling to contain their grief as the procession went past 
The crowds fell silent as the procession led by bagpipers and drummers filed past
The crowds fell silent as the procession led by bagpipers and drummers filed past
Specially-made coffins, including a pink Peppa Pig one for Lia, are carried past in a horse-drawn carriage
The order of service
Mother Michelle Pearson, 36, was badly injured in the fire at her home in Salford, Greater Manchester, last December, and will not be able to attend her children's funeral
Mother Michelle Pearson, 36, was badly injured in the fire at her home in Salford, Greater Manchester, last December, and will not be able to attend her children's funeral. Pictured, the order of service 
Zak Bolland and David Worrall hurled Molotov cocktails into their house in the dead of night, with one landing near the stairs and blocking their only escape route
Zak Bolland and David Worrall hurled Molotov cocktails into their house in the dead of night, with one landing near the stairs and blocking their only escape route
All four 'died a terrible death' from smoke inhalation and burns, the trial of the killers heard.
Mrs Pearson's son Kyle, 17, had been involved in a 'petty' feud with Bolland over damage to his £200 car, prompting a series of tit-for-tat attacks. 
In CCTV images Bolland, Worrall and Brierley looked as if they had not a care in the world as they were pictured by an in-store camera snapping up two boxes of Budweiser beer at an off-licence in the city in preparation for the attack.
The group appeared to shared a joke with staff and fellow customers before an unsuspecting cashier even gave Worrall a friendly 'fist bump' as they left the store.
But within minutes, two of the bottles had been turned into deadly molotov cocktails to firebomb the family home of Kyle Pearson who had been in a feud with Bolland.CCTV images captured Bolland and Worrall filling up a petrol can at a Texaco fuel station before arriving at the property.
The two men then removed a fence panel from the garden of the Pearsons' home, smashed a kitchen window and tossed in two lit petrol bombs. 
Bolland hurled his bottle which 'exploded' near the stairs, blocking the only exit to the ground floor and trapping the victims upstairs.
Within seconds flames engulfed the three-bedroom mid-terrace home in Walkden, Greater Manchester. 
Kyle managed to escape out of an upstairs window but his siblings Demi, Brandon and Lacie, sleeping in a front bedroom, perished in the flames.
Mrs Pearson had made a series of complaints to police and her housing provider Salford Council, asking to be moved.
The children were carried into the church to Ariana Grande's cover of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow'

The children were carried into the church to Ariana Grande's cover of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow'
The children's mother remains in hospital, too poorly to attend their funeral today
The children's mother remains in hospital, too poorly to attend their funeral today
Zac Bolland and Courtney Brierley. In CCTV images Bolland, Worrall and Brierley looked as if they had not a care in the world as they were pictured by an in-store camera snapping up two boxes of Budweiser beer at an off-licence in the city in preparation for the attack
Zac Bolland and Courtney Brierley. In CCTV images Bolland, Worrall and Brierley looked as if they had not a care in the world as they were pictured by an in-store camera snapping up two boxes of Budweiser beer at an off-licence in the city in preparation for the attack
Paying tribute to 15-year-old Demi, her mother said: 'We did a lot together. She was my best friend.'
Paying tribute to 15-year-old Demi, her mother said: 'We did a lot together. She was my best friend.'
After the trial Sandra Lever said her daughter and the family would never recover from losing the four children.
She said: 'They will never be able to fix her broken heart. Our lives are just not the same without them.
'I was a nanny of 11, now I'm a nanny of seven. We will never again hear their voices. I hope that Bolland, Worrall and Brierley know they have taken away the lights of our lives.'  
Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Hughes of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) was asked if officers failed to do basic police work in not tracking down Bolland who lived 300 yards from Mrs Pearson's home and had already threatened to petrol bomb the house.
Mr Lewis said: 'Nobody could have foreseen the level of violence that took place that night at that time.'
An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct is ongoing. 
Family of tragic siblings show heartbreaking photo album of the youngsters at their funeral 
Two white horses pulled each carriage, with the names of the child on top in flowers and a portrait photo beside each coffin.
Pallbearers broke into tears as they passed a guard of honour of firefighters, the men and women who went into the house engulfed in flames and tried in vain to rescue the children.
Mrs Pearson's mother Sandra Lever was among the hundreds of mourners filing into church for the start of the service at St Paul's Church in Walkden, a quarter of a mile from their home.
Mrs Lever has said the children had all been 'lovely, happy angels'.
Ariana Grande's version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow played as the coffins were carried inside for the start of the service, mourners filling the church, with dozens of others listening to a loudspeaker relaying the service to those still outside.
Reverend Gill Page told them they were there to celebrate the lives of four 'precious' children for the short time they spent on Earth. 
The children were huge fans of Peppa Pig and the family had three-year-old's Lia's designed around her favourite character 
The children were huge fans of Peppa Pig and the family had three-year-old's Lia's designed around her favourite character 
Demi Pearson
The Pearson siblings
Demi Pearson, left, and right with her little sisters, was sleeping in a front bedroom and died when the inferno tore through the home 
Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Hughes of Greater Manchester Police was asked if officers failed to do basic police work in not tracking down Bolland who lived 300 yards from Mrs Pearson's home and had already threatened to petrol bomb the house
Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Hughes of Greater Manchester Police was asked if officers failed to do basic police work in not tracking down Bolland who lived 300 yards from Mrs Pearson's home and had already threatened to petrol bomb the house
The loss of the youngsters was clearly felt around the community today, as hundreds came together to pay their respects
The loss of the youngsters was clearly felt around the community today, as hundreds came together to pay their respects
The loss of the youngsters was clearly felt around the community today, as hundreds came together to pay their respects 
The children's mother had hoped to be at their funeral but was forced to pull out at the eleventh hour 
The children's mother had hoped to be at their funeral but was forced to pull out at the eleventh hour 
All four children will be buried together, with Lia (pictured) in a Peppa Pig coffin because of her love for the show

All four children will be buried together, with Lia (pictured) in a Peppa Pig coffin because of her love for the show
Eight-year-old Brandon was a fan of Marvel comics and the Avengers so his coffin featured his favourite characters
Eight-year-old Brandon was a fan of Marvel comics and the Avengers so his coffin featured his favourite characters
Firefighters battled in vain to save the youngsters but the fire quickly ravaged their home, killing them in their beds


Firefighters battled in vain to save the youngsters but the fire quickly ravaged their home, killing them in their beds
Brandon, who hoped one day to become an architect, pictured holding his baby sister
Brandon, who hoped one day to become an architect, pictured holding his baby sister

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