The murderers of a mother of five and her four kids in a petrol bomb attack have been jailed for life as the victims’ loved ones mourned “a whole family torn apart and destroyed in one night”.
37-year-old Michelle Pearson suffered serious burns following the blaze at the property in Walkden, Greater Manchester, in December 2017.
She tragically passed away 20 months after the fire that killed her children, Demi Pearson, 14, Brandon, 8, Lacie, 7, and three-year-old Lia.
Last month, Zak Bolland, 26-year-old, and David Worrall, 28-year-old, were unanimously found guilty of murdering the mom.
They were both convicted of the murders of the four children following a trial in 2018, and are already serving life sentences.
Today, the evil pair were sentenced again to 40-years and 37-years respectively for the killing of the youngsters’ mum after a judge said she experienced “unimaginable suffering”.
It means that, despite the time served between the first convictions in 2018 and the second in 2021, no time will be taken from either of the killers’ sentences.
Bolland’s then-girlfriend, Courtney Brierley, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Michelle earlier this year.
Michelle spent five months in a coma with 75 per cent burns to her body following the inferno at her home.
She was given the devastating news when she eventually woke that her four youngest children had perished in the blaze.
But she bravely repeatedly fought back from the brink of death as she underwent countless operations on her infected wounds.
She had hoped to be well enough to attend her children’s funeral in September 2018 but was forced to stay in Wythenshawe Hospital.
Michelle’s condition had begun to improve but tragically she took a turn for the worse and passed away on 25 August 2019.
Manchester Crown Court previously heard how Bolland had been involved in a petty feud with the victims’ 17-year-old brother Kyle Pearson.
Chilling CCTV footage showed the trio buying beer bottles which were used to create petrol bombs just hours before the attack.
Bolland and Worrall then removed a fence panel from the garden of Michelle’s home before smashing a kitchen window.
Two lit petrol bombs were tossed inside at around 5: am, with the second “exploding” near the stairs blocking the only exit to the ground floor and trapping the victims upstairs as flames engulfed the home.
Michelle had frantically scooped little Lia in her arms. She ran through their smoke-filled home to the bathroom in an attempt to save the little one’s life.
Tragically, she was overcome by the smoke and fumes and collapsed before she could save her baby daughter.
Horrified neighbours had heard her scream: “Not the kids! Not my kids!” as the flames tore through the house.
Lia was later discovered in the charred bathtub but she died in hospital two days later.
Her brother Brandon was found lying face down with his head towards the landing. Close behind was sister Lacie, who looked as though she had been following him to safety.
Demi was discovered with her feet on the floor and her hands stretched out to the open window.
Bolland, then 23-year-old, was convicted of four counts of murder and three of attempted murder and was handed a minimum 40-year sentence in May 2018.
His friend Worrall, then 26, was also convicted of the four murders and three counts of attempted GBH and was handed a 37-year sentence.
Bolland’s then-girlfriend Courtney Brierley was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter and was jailed for 21-years.
The judge’s decision today means none of their time served will count towards their release date.
Michelle’s mum, Sandra Lever, told of her torment after the pair pleaded not guilty to killing her daughter despite already being convicted of killing her grandchildren.
In a statement today, she said the family is “still trying to come to terms with how cruelly they were taken away”.
“A whole family has been torn apart and destroyed in one night,” she said.
“Nothing will ever bring them back and my family will never be the same again.
“Losing Michelle and the children is still very raw, and we are all still struggling to come to terms with losing them especially the way they died in such a horrific way.
“It is hard enough to lose one person that you love through being deliberately and cruelly taken away from you but to lose five is unbearable.
“The sentences that have been given will never be enough no amount of time will ever be enough. We have lost not only my four beautiful grandchildren but my amazing daughter.
“Michelle and the children filled a massive place in all our hearts and our family will never be the same ever again. We are all utterly heartbroken and forever will be.
“Michelle had so much more to give to this world, and the children had a full life ahead of them.”
She previously told the Sun the defendants are “all monsters”.
“It’s just horrible and cruel to do what they did, especially to children.
“It was so cowardly.
“Five murders should mean they’re jailed for life and never let out.”
And she said she felt “huge relief” when the verdict was announced last month.
“I was worried they might get away with manslaughter,” she said.
“It was cowardly of them to put us through another trial.”
Michelle’s son Kyle, 18, survived the arson attack, along with his pal Bobby, who was sleeping at the family’s home that night.
But Sandra said: “What made it worse was all the lies they talked about it being to do with a feud with Kyle.
“The feud was actually with someone else Kyle just happens to know.
“Bolland and Worrall just told lie after lie in court. It was constant lies all the way through.
“They said all they wanted to do was ruin Michelle’s kitchen. But who throws a petrol bomb into a house in the middle of the night knowing there are children in there?”
And she said she has no idea how she’ll ever move on.
“I don’t know why they chose to do it, putting us through it yet again,” she said.
“Seeing the children’s pictures in court was so upsetting.
“We are never going to be able to move on because of what happened five people have been murdered.