Mother's boyfriend murdered five-year-old son by setting home ablaze

Mother’s boyfriend murdered her five-year-old son by dousing home in petrol, setting it ablaze and leaving him with horrific burns after row over her chatting on phone to her friend, trial hears

  • The boy died after the blaze allegedly started by Aaron Medcraft in Rugby
  • The 23-year-old allegedly started the fire after a row with the boy’s mother
  • Warwick Crown Court heard that he fled the scene to change his clothes
  • A man killed his partner’s five-year-old son after dousing the family home in petrol before setting it alight following an argument, 'n hof gehoor het.

    The boy died in the blaze allegedly started by Aaron Medcraft in a house in Rugby on November 15, 2018.

    Warwick Crown Court heard that the 23-year-old deliberately started the fire in the kitchen because he was angry that his partner had been talking to a friend on the phone.

    He then fled from the property, leaving the woman and three children as the fire took hold.

    Die seun, wat om regsredes nie benoem kan word nie, was taken to hospital with horrific burns, but died four months later from his injuries.

    Medcraft, of Rugby, denies attempted murder of the woman and two children, and an alternative charge of arson with intent to endanger life.

    Warwick Crown Court heard that the 23-year-old deliberately started the fire in the kitchen because he was angry that his partner had been talking to a friend on the phone.

    Warwick Crown Court heard that the 23-year-old deliberately started the fire in the kitchen because he was angry that his partner had been talking to a friend on the phone.

    Prosecutor Kevin Hegarty QC told the court: ‘On the night of November 14, 2018 a woman was at home with three children.

    ‘During the evening the defendant came to the house. There was an argument between Aaron Medcraft and [die vrou].

    ‘The argument ended with Aaron Medcraft throwing petrol around the kitchen of the house and then lighting it and leaving.

    ‘At about 2.45am on November 15 Aaron Medcraft cycled away from the burning house, vertrek [the woman and children] in die huis – leaving them there, ons sê, to burn.

    The youngest of the children died from his injuries on March 21, 2019.

    The woman suffered serious burns to her legs, her right arm and face, but the two older children escaped ‘with little or no injury.

    The jury heard that Medcraft became angry that his partner was on the phone to a friend and began pushing her and threatening to kill her and the children.

    ‘He went out to a lean-to and came back in with a green petrol can which contained petrol, and he started saying he was going to set the house on fire with them in it,’ Mr Hegarty said.

    ‘He started pouring petrol around the kitchen and into the doorway and onto her. She went upstairs to wash the petrol off her face and change her top.

    ‘She went back downstairs where the row continued. She was trying to get him to leave, but he would not go and told her if he could not have her, then no-one could.

    ‘Then he pulled out a lighter and sparked it, igniting the petrol, and ran from the house.

    The two older children managed to escape but when there was no sign of the five-year-old, the woman ran back into the house to find him.

    ‘She found him in the hall by the stairs,’ Mr Hegarty said. ‘By then he must have been very badly burned, and you can imagine the noise he was making.

    ‘Surrounded by flames, she scooped him up and the two of them fled from the inferno.

    ‘A neighbour saw her emerge carrying [die seun] in her arms. She was in a state of distress.

    The court heard Medcraft had cycled to the home of a friend where he borrowed a top after removing his polo shirt.

    He told his friends that the woman had pulled out a lighter and set fire to herself while the children were present, claiming he had run past her to get out.

    In his first interview with police after being arrested on suspicious of arson with intent, Medcraft claimed the woman had grabbed the can of petrol and splashed it about as he tried to get it from her.

    He said she was throwing petrol around so he left, but then saw a flash and ran back as there were ‘flames everywhere.

    He claimed that he saw the five-year-old and pulled him from the house and told him to roll on the floor, but then left the scene ‘supposedly in panic,’ Mr Hegarty told the court.

    In 'n latere onderhoud, he said he thought the woman was intending to light the petrol but that the situation would be diffused if he left the property.

    In another interview, he claimed he did not know if the boy was on fire, but later described him as coming out of the doorway ‘covered in flames.

    ‘Let us consider that position,’ Mr Hegarty told the jury. ‘A child covered in flames, and you know there are two other children in the house.

    ‘You have got one out, on your account, and told this small child to roll around. What’s the next thing you do? Do you just get on your bicycle and ride away?

    ‘We know that one of the witnesses saw [the mother] and the two older children, then she saw her return in the direction of the burning house and disappear and then reappear carrying [die seun] in her arms.

    ‘If that was the first time [die seun] emerged from the burning house, Aaron Medcraft’s account cannot be true.

    ‘For his account to be true, that five-year-old would have had to return into the burning house from which he had already escaped, for his mother to then carry him out.

    ‘We say that is inconceivable, and therefore that Aaron Medcraft’s account is a lie.

    ‘We argue that he has made up this account to show he had tried to save him, and to cover up his own guilt for setting fire to the house.

    Die verhoor duur voort.