Melanie Jane SMITH
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Alcoholic - Set fire at neighbours' home after long-running argument
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: October 19, 2012
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1969
Victims profile: Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her partner Liam Timbrell, 23, their baby son Charlie, 15 months, Miss Shiers’s nephew Bailey, 4, and niece Skye, 2
Method of murder: Fire
Location: Prestatyn, Denbighshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life in prison, 30-year minimum, on May 7, 2013
Prestatyn murders: Melanie Smith sentenced to 30-year minimum for killing family after setting fire to push chair
Lee-Anna Shiers, her four-year-old nephew Bailey, two-year-old niece Skye, her partner Liam Timbrell and their 15-month-old son Charlie all died as a result of the blaze
By Mike Horney - Independent.co.uk
May 8, 2013
A woman who murdered five members of a family, including three young children, when she set fire to her neighbour's pushchair, was jailed for at least 30 years today.
Alcoholic Melanie Smith, 43, started the devastating blaze because she was angry the pushchair had been left in a shared hallway close to the front door of her flat.
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her four-year-old nephew, Bailey, and two-year-old niece, Skye, were trapped in their upstairs flat and died in the arson attack in North Wales on October 19 last year.
Firefighters managed to rescue Ms Shiers's 15-month-old son Charlie and his father Liam Timbrell, 23, but they died in hospital.
Smith, who lived in the flat below the victims in Maes y Groes, Prestatyn, was found guilty of five counts of murder by a jury at Mold Crown Court last Tuesday.
Smith wept as the sentence was passed by trial judge Mr Justice Griffith-Williams.
The judge told Smith that at first it seemed unlikely that a mother-of-five with no previous convictions could set fire to a house with people in it.
But after hearing the evidence he said he was satisfied that Smith set fire to the pushchair.
He said Smith was motivated by jealousy due to her faltering relationship with Stephen Clarkson, whom she accused of cheating on her with a woman called Samantha Schofield - a woman she hated.
"That hatred, which was all the more intense because of your drink problem, took over your life," the judge said.
Smith was convicted last Tuesday of five counts of murder and one count of making threats of arson after the jury of seven women and five men reached 10-2 majority verdicts following 15 hours of deliberations.
Smith had been increasingly angry with Ms Shiers, accusing the young mother of being a noisy and untidy neighbour, her trial was told.
Witnesses said Smith had been heard complaining about Ms Shiers leaving the pram in the hallway and leaving cigarette ends around the front door area.
On the night of the fire, Smith was drunk and started the blaze "in a rage" after hearing Ms Shiers and Mr Timbrell having sex upstairs.
The court was played a harrowing 999 call in which Mr Timbrell shouted: "Oh my God, oh my God, we're going to die."
The jury was told that Mr Timbrell later told rescuing paramedics that "it was arson" and "it was Mel" and said he heard Smith shouting through the letterbox that she was going to burn the house down.
The judge said that while her relationship with Mr Clarkson remained "uneasy" Smith "took out" her "unhappiness" on Ms Shiers.
"And she became the focus of your attentions," he said.
The court heard that Smith was a "very tidy person".
"You resented any mess she made," Mr Justice Griffith-Williams said.
The inconvenience of the pushchair in the hallway, cigarette ends dropped by the front door, and noise coming from upstairs all became "issues which grew out of all proportion".
The judge said that on that Friday evening Mr Clarkson wanted "little to do" with the defendant and went home to sleep.
Smith, who, the judge said, was "certainly affected by alcohol", purchased a takeaway to eat alone at home.
The judge told her: "My belief is that at that moment you were probably a very sad woman and it was the sound of Lee-Anna and Liam's love-making from the flat above that overwhelmed you.
"Bitterly resentful of their happiness, you went outside and set fire to the pushchair. It follows that you acted on impulse and so this was not a premeditated act.
"My belief is you did not know Bailey and Skye were there but that reduces your culpability only marginally because you were clearly indifferent to the presence of others in the flat upstairs.
"When, contrary to what you had intended, the fire spread to your flat, you escaped, probably by the back door, shouting at Steven Clarkson to get him to follow you.
"The setting-fire to the pushchair was an act of exceptional wickedness, almost unparalleled in its consequences.
"For those who had to hear the evidence of the 999 calls, the horror of those moments in the flat upstairs as Lee-Anna and Liam faced the awful inevitability of their imminent deaths will be forever etched on their memories.
"Understandably the knowledge of the manner of their deaths has added to the overwhelming grief of their families, all the more to those who rushed to the house in the hope they could help.
"I have had regard to the contents of the three victim statements. Each witness wrote eloquently of the effects upon them and their families of their losses.
"That grief will not have been mitigated by any meaningful remorse on your part. You continue to portray yourself as a victim, blinding yourself to the sufferings of the real victims in this case and failing to at least acknowledge that it was your deliberate act which started the fire."
'She should rot in hell': Ex-husband's fury as arsonist who wiped out a family is convicted of five murders
Melanie Smith set fire at neighbours' home after long-running argument
Lee-Ann Shiers and boyfriend Liam Timbrell killed alongside three children
Alcoholic Smith had history of making vicious arson threats while drunk
By Liz Hull - DailyMail.co.uk
May 1, 2013
A woman who started a fire which killed five members of the same family – including three children under five – was facing life in jail last night after being convicted of murder.
Melanie Smith, 43, set fire to a baby’s pushchair because she was fed up with it being outside her front door.
But the blaze spread into a devastating inferno which ripped through the first-floor flat in Prestatyn, North Wales, last October.
It trapped and killed Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her partner Liam Timbrell, 23, their baby son Charlie, 15 months, Miss Shiers’s nephew Bailey, four, and niece Skye, two.
Jobless Smith, who lived in the flat below, was yesterday convicted by a 10-2 majority of five counts of murder, making her one of the most prolific murderesses in modern British history. She will be sentenced next month.
Her ex-husband, Paul Smith, said the killer ‘deserves to rot in hell’.
Smith collapsed in tears at Mold Crown Court after the jury returned their verdicts. She sobbed ‘Oh my God, no’ when the first verdict of murder was returned.
The victims’ relatives in the packed public gallery gasped ‘Yes!’ when the foreman announced the verdicts.
The jury was told that as the fire took hold, Mr Timbrell was heard in the background of a 999 call screaming: ‘Oh my God, oh my God, we’re going to die.’
Despite being badly burned, Mr Timbrell managed to tell police that he heard Smith shouting through the letterbox: ‘I’m going to burn your house down.’
After the case, Lee-Anna’s parents Joy, 45, and Peter, 64, told of their relief. Mrs Shiers said: ‘I am overjoyed.
'I am sorry for her family because we have always got on well with them. All our family are so happy at the verdicts.’
Her husband added: ‘Nothing will bring them back but we have at least seen justice served. There is a big hole in our lives and how do we fill that hole? It is just impossible.’
The Daily Mail can reveal that Smith had a history of cruelty to her own children.
She stubbed cigarettes out on her baby son’s forehead, hacked off her toddler daughter’s blonde hair, scalded her with boiling water and locked her in an understairs cupboard as punishment.
Mr Smith, 51, said she inflicted terrible cruelty on the three children they had together, before abandoning them aged three, two and nine months.
He said: ‘She destroyed my family years ago, and by setting fire to that house she’s ruined the lives of so many other people.
'The sentence is totally deserved and none of us ever want to see her again.
‘She was an appalling mother to her own children, and now she’s done this to these other kids.
'It’s horrific. That evil woman deserves to rot in hell.’
Born in the seaside town of Prestatyn, Smith was 17 when she married Mr Smith. Over the next few years they had three children.
Mr Smith said his ex-wife resented being tied down to three young children and regularly mistreated them.
One of Smith’s daughters, Charlotte, now 23 and a mother of one, said: ‘It shocked me to know what she’d done, but it’s not out of character.
'She was cruel to us as kids, so why shouldn’t she be cruel to other kids years later?
‘She was a mother from hell to me – and she still is. Spending the rest of her life in prison won’t come close to what she deserves.’
Mr Smith added: ‘I shudder when I think that Melanie will probably spend the rest of her days in prison, but she’s brought it on herself.
‘She’ll go down in history as a notorious killer.’
Killer's history of crazed arson threats ahead of murder
Self-confessed alcohol 'binger' Melanie Smith had a 'propensity' to make drunken threats to burn people's houses down 'with their children inside'.
Mold Crown Court was told of numerous occasions when Smith threatened to set fire to property and how in the six weeks before the fire she stepped up her campaign of threats against Lee-Anna Shiers.
In late 2007, Smith was barred from the Victoria Hotel in Prestatyn for being 'loud and argumentative', the court was told.
In April 2008 Smith and her boyfriend Steven Clarkson were again refused service at the pub by the landlady.
Smith's response was to say: 'I'm going to f****** torch this place', and to storm out of the door in a temper, the court heard.
The court heard Smith 'hated' Samantha Schofield, whom she claimed had been having an affair with Clarkson.
In August 2012 Smith 'trashed' Mr Clarkson's car while it was parked outside Ms Schofield's house.
The windscreen wipers were bent back, the wing mirrors kicked out of position and pink milkshake thrown at the windscreen.
Around 20 matches were also strewn around the road outside Ms Schofield's house and a matchbox was found beneath Mr Clarkson's car.
Smith then had two conversations with Ms Schofield's sister, Amy, in which she said she was 'going to set fire to Sam's house'.
Smith said that she had nearly set fire to the house but was 'too drunk to ignite the matches'.
When it was pointed out to her that Ms Schofield had children living with her who 'had done nothing wrong', Smith replied: 'I'm not finished with Sammy yet and I can't make any promises.'
On September 1 2012, Smith told Ms Shiers's friend Stacey Brady that she was going to 'make Lee-Anna's life hell'.
The court heard Smith was 'ranting' about her throwing cigarette butts and shouted up at Ms Shiers: 'I am going to set your house on fire with you and your kids in it.'
On September 5 Ms Shiers' brother, Michael, called to see his sister and she told him that when the defendant was drunk she made threats to burn her house down, saying: 'I have threatened to burn someone else's house down and I will do the same to you.'
The manager of the Vegas Bar in Rhyl, Yvette Giblin, told police that on October 13 she heard the defendant rowing with Clarkson.
She claims Smith said in a raised voice: 'You're shagging the woman upstairs. I will burn the house down with her and the kids in it.'
On October 18 2012, Smith told her friend Pamela Handley she was going to 'torch or bomb' her landlord's flat and that he was not going to get any money from her rent.
On the morning of October 19, Smith went to Chantelle's hair salon where hairdresser Sophie Griffiths noticed she smelled of alcohol and was complaining about her flat.
She said it was too small and that she did not like her neighbours or landlord, adding: 'To be honest, I wish they'd burn it to the ground because the council would have to put me up then.'
'OH MY GOD, WE'RE GOING TO DIE': VICTIM'S HARROWING 999 CALL
One of Melanie Smith's victims made a harrowing 999 call from the burning building and was heard shouting: 'Oh my God, oh my God, we're going to die.'
The jury in her murder trial heard a recording of Liam Timbrell's call to emergency services, in which he said: 'Help, help. Someone has put it on purpose. We're inside the flat.'
Mr Timbrell, the only person from inside the flat who could give an account of the fire, later told rescuing paramedics that 'it was arson' and 'it was Mel from downstairs'.
He was very badly burned but became alert and awake, and said: 'Babies, are the babies okay?'
He then added: 'I heard a woman shouting in the street.'
Asked by the paramedics what he meant, he replied: '"I'm going to set fire to the house" - yes, yes I heard this woman shouting she was going to set fire to the house.'
Mr Timbrell repeatedly said 'Mel did it,' and told a police community support officer: 'She was shouting through the letterbox, "I'm going to burn your house down."'
Asked if he recognised the voice, Mr Timbrell said 'Yes', adding: 'It was Mel from the downstairs flat.'
'Jealous' woman found guilty of murdering five members of one family in fire She deliberately set pushchair alight because she was angry it had been left in shared hallway
By Paul Keaveny - Independent.co.uk
April 30, 2013
A "drunk and jealous" woman has been found guilty of murdering five members of the same family, including three young children, in a devastating blaze following a row about a pram.
Melanie Smith, 43, deliberately set fire to a pushchair because she was angry that it had been left in a shared hallway, Mold Crown Court heard.
The court was told she carried out the "terrible and wicked deed" because she was "drunk and angry", disillusioned with her boyfriend, very unhappy in her flat and jealous of the woman who lived upstairs.
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her four-year-old nephew, Bailey, and two-year-old niece, Skye, died in the arson attack at their home in Prestatyn, North Wales, on October 19 last year.
Firefighters managed to rescue Ms Shiers's 15-month-old son Charlie and his father Liam Timbrell, 23, from the first-floor flat but they died in hospital.
Smith, who lived in the flat below the victims in Maes y Groes, Prestatyn, was found guilty of all five counts of murder by a jury of seven women and five men today.
Smith appeared to collapse into the security guard on her right as the first of the 10 to two majority verdicts was returned after almost 15 hours of deliberations by the jury.
As the remaining guilty verdicts were announced by the jury foreman, she bowed her head and looked to the floor.
In addition to five counts of murder, she was also convicted of one count of making threats of arson.
In the public gallery on a balcony above the courtroom there was a short outburst of "No", seemingly from a member of Smith's family.
Relatives of the victims were then heard to be crying as others shouted: "Yes."
Trial judge Mr Justice Griffith Williams told the court he wanted "time to reflect" before passing sentence.
He told Smith her life sentence was fixed by law, but she would be brought back to the court on May 8 when she will be told the minimum term.
The defendant clung on to the arm of a security guard as she was led down to the cells and appeared to have difficulty walking.
During the three-week trial, the jury heard that Smith, an alcoholic mother-of-five, has been increasingly angry with Ms Shiers, accusing the young mother of being a noisy and untidy neighbour.
Smith was also heard complaining to others about Ms Shiers leaving the pram in the hallway and leaving cigarette ends around the front door area.
Ian Murphy QC, for the prosecution, told the jury that on the night of the fire, Smith was drunk and started the blaze "in a rage" after hearing Ms Shiers and Mr Timbrell having sex upstairs.
The court was played a harrowing 999 call in which Mr Timbrell shouted: "Oh my God, oh my God, we're going to die."
The jury was told that Mr Timbrell later told rescuing paramedics that "it was arson" and "it was Mel from downstairs" after he said he heard her shouting through the letterbox that she was going to burn the house down.
Mr Murphy said Smith had a "propensity" to threaten people by saying she would burn their houses down "with their children inside".
The court heard that Smith made a string of similar threats to Ms Shiers in the weeks before the fire.
She also threatened to "fire bomb" her landlord's home and burn down the house of Samantha Schofield, whom she accused of having an affair with her boyfriend Steven Clarkson.
Smith, who claimed in court that she once had counselling for being obsessively tidy, denied the allegations and said 21 of the prosecution witnesses, including a firefighter and a police officer, were lying and plotting against her.
She said only a "sick and evil person" would threaten to start fires in houses with children inside.
Prestatyn fire deaths: Murder trial jury sent home until Monday
The jury at Mold Crown Court in the case of Melanie Smith, who denies five charges of murder, will continue deliberations after the weekend
April 26, 2013
The jury in the trial of a woman accused of starting a house fire which killed five members of the same family has been sent home for the weekend.
Melanie Smith, 43, is alleged to have set fire to a pushchair because she was angry that it had been left in a shared hallway.
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her four-year-old nephew, Bailey, and two-year-old niece, Skye, died in the alleged arson attack at their home in Prestatyn, North Wales, on October 19.
Firefighters managed to rescue Ms Shiers’ 15-month-old son, Charlie, and his father, Liam Timbrell, 23, from their first-floor flat but they later died in hospital.
Smith, who lived in the flat below the victims in Maes y Groes, Prestatyn, denies five counts of murder.
The jury at Mold Crown Court retired to consider their verdicts at 9.36 a.m. this morning.
The Judge Mr Justice Griffith-Williams told them that they were under no pressure of time.
At 2.30 he called them back into court and released them for the weekend, telling them that they could resume their deliberations on Monday morning.
The jury had previously heard that Smith carried out the “terrible and wicked deed” because she was “drunk and angry”, disillusioned with her boyfriend and very unhappy in her flat due to the untidiness of Ms Shiers.
Cross-examining Smith, Ian Murphy QC, for the prosecution, said: “I suggest to you that it was very easy for you to carry out this terrible, wicked deed of setting fire to the pushchair with a lighter.”
Smith replied: “That is crazy. You are twisting things.”
Mr Murphy also accused Smith of using her boyfriend, Steven Clarkson, to establish a false alibi.
He said Smith got into bed with Clarkson after setting fire to the pram so she could then pretend to be a victim.
Mr Murphy said: “It was started deliberately by you and you in effect stage-managed your exit from the property.”
During the trial Smith denied the allegations and said that 21 witnesses in the case who said they had heard her making threats to burn down people’s houses were lying.
Prestatyn fire trial latest: Judge tells jury to 'put aside sympathy and pity'
Mr Justice Griffith-Williams sums up as the trial of Melanie Smith - who denies murdering five people - comes to an end
By Kelly Williams - DailyPost.co.uk
April 25, 2013
A judge has today told a murder trial jury to put aside "considerable sympathy and pity" for a family's "incalculable loss" when deciding whether Melanie Smith killed a young couple and three children in a blaze.
The honourable Mr Justice Griffith-Williams told the seven women and five men to "make up your own minds about where the truth lies in this case."
Smith denies murdering Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her partner, Liam Timbrell, 23, their 15-month-old son, Charlie and Lee-Anna's two-year-old niece Skye Allen, and her brother Bailey, four.
The 43-year-old is accused of starting the fatal fire in Maes y Groes, Prestatyn last October by putting a naked flame to Charlie's pushchair in the communal hallway.
The judge said the victims were "trapped in what must've been absolute moments of terror," but reminded the jury to disregard feelings of compassion when reaching their verdict.
"It is your view and only your view of the evidence that matters. You must consider it objectively and dispassionately and above all, apply common sense," he said.
He told them to review all evidence and examine the central issues in the case considering the closing arguments of the prosecution and defence.
"Your verdict must be based on the evidence, all the answers you need can be found in the evidence and you must not speculate about what evidence there might've been."
Referring to the jury's questions as to why they were unable to hear evidence from Smith's partner, Stephen Clarkson, Mr Griffith-Williams said the prosecution and defence are able to decide what witnesses they want to call in the case, and added: "Speculating about what evidence he (Clarkson) might've given would be a profitless exercise. All that is required is an objective assessment of all the evidence and the issues in the case."
He told the jury they must decide to whether to acquit Smith or find her guilty murder or manslaughter based on legal guidelines, and said: "You must consider the credibility and reliability of witnesses and decide who is to be believed."
The judge will complete his summing up of the case this afternoon.
It is likely the jury won't retire to begin their deliberations until tomorrow.
Pictured for the first time: Mother of five who denies murder of five members of same family in house blaze she herself described as 'beyond evil'
Melanie Smith, 43, accused of torching pushchair in anger because it was parked in shared hallway
Claims all witnesses in the case, including police officer and a firefighter, were 'in it together'
She tells court: 'I would never burn anyone. You have got to be beyond evil to do something like this'
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her nephew Bailey, four, and niece Skye, two, all died
Son Charlie, 15 months, and his father Liam Timbrell died in hospital later
By Simon Tomlinson and James Tozer
April 23, 2013
A mother accused of murdering five people by setting fire to a pushchair outside their front door said that the person who started the blaze was ‘beyond evil’.
Melanie Smith, pictured for the first time arriving at court yesterday, denied killing the three children and two adults because she was fed up with the buggy being left outside her own front door, adding that she was ‘not that kind of person’.
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her son Charlie, aged 15 months, Miss Shiers’s nephew Bailey, four, and niece Skye, two, died in the fire at the first-floor flat in Prestatyn, north Wales. Miss Shiers’s partner, Liam Timbrell, 23, died in hospital a fortnight later.
Mold Crown Court has heard that Smith – a heavy drinking, jobless mother of five who lived in the flat below – started the fire after a row with Miss Shiers over the pushchair.
Smith, who lived in the flat below the victims in Maes y Groes, Prestatyn, denies five counts of murder at Mold Crown Court.
Under cross examination from Ian Murphy QC, for the prosecution, Smith denied that she was a murderer.
Mr Murphy said Smith, an alcoholic, had been 'drunk and angry' at Ms Shiers and had told numerous friends that she intended to burn her house down with children in it.
Mr Murphy said: 'I suggest to you that it was very easy for you to carry out this terrible, wicked deed of setting fire to the pushchair with a lighter.'
Smith replied: 'That is crazy. You are twisting things.'
Mr Murphy accused Smith of using her boyfriend Steven Clarkson to establish a false alibi.
He said Smith got into bed with Clarkson after setting fire to the pram so she could then pretend to be a victim.
'Once you started that fire, you then started your great big lie, by suggesting you are an innocent victim,' Mr Murphy said.
Smith said: 'That's wrong.'
Mr Murphy said: 'It was started deliberately by you and you in effect stage managed your exit from the property.'
'No chance,' Smith replied.
Mr Murphy added: 'After six weeks or more of threats to torch or burn their property with children inside, that's exactly what you did.'
Smith denied this, leading Mr Murphy to add: 'And you did so with deadly intent and to deadly effect.'
Smith said: 'No, that's not true. I'm not that kind of person.'
During her trial, which started on April 10, the court was played a harrowing 999 call in which Mr Timbrell shouted: 'Oh my god, oh my god, we're going to die.'
The jury was also told that Mr Timbrell later told rescuing paramedics that 'it was arson' and 'it was Mel' and that he had heard Smith shouting threats about burning the house down that night.
Mr Murphy said Mr Timbrell had heard Smith's 'easily recognisable voice'.
'He heard what he was later to tell other people. He heard from you your deadly threat. I am going to set fire to the house,' Mr Murphy said.
Smith, wearing glasses and with blonde hair tied back, responded: 'I didn't say anything like that. Someone has taken them all away and I am getting the blame for it.'
'He said, 'it was Mel', because he heard you,' Mr Murphy said.
Smith replied: 'No.'
Mr Murphy said Smith was 'drunk and angry' on the night in question.
Angry about her relationship with Mr Clarkson, whom she had accused of cheating on her, and angry at Ms Shiers for leaving the pushchair in the hallway, being noisy and being 'a scruffy dirty bitch', the court heard.
He said Smith set the fire 'in a rage' after hearing Ms Shiers and Mr Timbrell having sex upstairs.
Mr Murphy said: 'You told the jury that you heard Lee-Anna making love upstairs. Is that what prompted you to go and set this fire?'
Smith said: 'No it was not.'
The court has heard from a number of witnesses who claim to have heard Smith making drunken threats to burn peoples' houses down 'with their children inside' and Mr Murphy said the defendant had a 'tendency' to do this when she was drunk.
Smith denied ever setting any fire or making threats and added: 'I would never burn anyone. You have got to be pretty sick and crazy and beyond evil to do something like this.'
Mr Murphy then asked her if she thought all the witnesses in the case were lying and she responded: 'Yeah they are. Everybody wants justice and they are all looking at me and I am innocent. I have done nothing.'
Mr Murphy said it was Smith's intention to 'kill everybody in the upstairs flat' and said Smith knew Ms Shiers regularly had more than one child staying over.
Smith replied: 'I don't think so. I would never ever harm anyone in that way. What I have heard in court, I am distraught myself. God knows what the family is going through.'
The trial continues.
I never wished them harm, says woman accused of fire that killed fiveBy Sam Masters - Independent.co.uk
April 22, 2013
A woman accused of starting a fire that killed five members of the same family living above her today told jurors she had never wished any harm on the family.
Appearing before Mold Crown Court, Melanie Smith, 43, said anyone who started fires was "screwed in the head".
Smith, who lived below the family in Prestatyn, north Wales, is accused of deliberately starting the fire by torching a pushchair because she was angry it had been left in a shared hallway by the family upstairs.
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her nephew Bailey, four, and niece Skye, two, died in the alleged arson on October 19.
Firefighters managed to rescue Ms Shiers' 15-month-old son Charlie and his father, Liam Timbrell, 23, from the first-floor flat but they later died in hospital.
Giving evidence Smith repeatedly denied ever making threats to start fires. She said she did not ever suspect her boyfriend of having "an affair" with Ms Shiers and denied ever having a problem with the pushchair being left in the communal hallway. Stephen Riordan QC, defending Smith, asked her about Charlie.
The self-confessed alcoholic replied: "He was a gorgeous little boy."
Mr Riordan asked her whether she had "wished any harm" on the baby, to which Smith replied "never".
Smith, who had been barred from numerous pubs in Prestatyn for her drunken behaviour, repeatedly denied making drunken threats to burn peoples' houses down. She said: "I wouldn't have it in me. I wouldn't do it anyway."
She said that on the night of the blaze she "was hysterical".
When she was outside she told jurors she had heard cries of "we can't get them out".
The court has heard this month that Mr Timbrell said to paramedics that "it was arson" and "it was Mel".
Smith denies five counts of murder. The trial continues tomorrow.
Prestatyn fire deaths: Melanie Smith lie detector offerBBC.co.uk
April 22, 2013
A woman accused of killing five members of a family offered to take a lie detector test to prove she was not a murderer or arsonist.
Mold Crown Court heard Melanie Smith, 43, claim she was in bed when a fire began which killed her neighbour Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, nephew Bailey, four, and niece Skye, two, in Prestatyn.
Ms Shiers' partner Liam Timbrell and 15-month-old son Charlie died later.
Ms Smith denies murder and threatening to burn down another woman's home.
he prosecution claim that Ms Smith set fire to a pushchair in a communal hall following arguments with Ms Shiers who lived in the upstairs flat.
Giving evidence at the start of the third week of her trial, Ms Smith denied making earlier threats to commit arson, and repeatedly claimed that prosecution witnesses, who said that she did, were lying.
In police interviews played to the court, Ms Smith said: "I am not an arsonist and I am definitely not a murderer.
"I definitely did not start the fire in the flat. Give me a lie detector test. I will pass everything."
Ms Smith said she shared a takeaway meal with her partner and went to bed. She told the court she had drunk 10 alcoholic drinks on the day of the fire.
Ms Smith claimed she heard the television in the upstairs flat and her neighbours in bed.
The court heard Ms Smith was woken by thick black smoke. She and her partner escaped through the bedroom window.
In the police interviews Ms Smith told detectives she was hysterical and was outside in her underwear and was given a blanket to cover herself while her partner got onto a flat roof at the back of the premises with other people to try to help the family above escape.
She also denied previously shouting at Ms Shiers in the street, allegedly saying she was going to "burn her and the kids".
Ms Smith told police there had been differences between the pair about the pushchair in the hall and rubbish left outside but that they had made up and apologised to each other.
'Pointing the finger'
"Everyone is pointing the finger at me. On my kids' lives I never did anything to that flat. That is from the bottom of my heart. I would not do that to my worst enemy," she said.
She also denied starting the fire just to scare someone or through frustration, adding: "I have five children of my own."
Ms Smith said she was alcohol dependent, but did not drink every day.
She said she was a binge drinker, but she was not in the middle of a binge when the fire took place, and that she had drunk 10 alcoholic drinks during the day.
Ms Smith said she had no previous convictions but she had been cautioned on one occasion. That was for stabbing her partner with a fork when she said he rubbed crisps into her hair and she thought he was going for her.
The court had previously heard that the fire which ignited the pushchair had been deliberately started by somebody holding a flame against it.
Ms Smith said the front door was never locked and anyone could have walked into the hallway and done it.
She also denies a charge of making an earlier threat to burn down the home of an alleged love rival, Samantha Schofield.
The trial continues.
Prestatyn death trial told fire drove back rescuers
April 16, 2013
Neighbours who tried to rescue a family from a house fire were driven back by heat and smoke, a murder trial heard.
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her partner Liam Timbrell, 23, their 15-month-old son Charlie, and two of his cousins died in the blaze in Prestatyn, Denbighshire.
An-ex police officer tried to get in via a rear window and another neighbour opened the front door but both were driven back, Mold Crown Court heard.
Melanie Smith, 42, who lived in the flat below Ms Shiers, denies murder.
As well as Ms Shiers, her nephew Bailey, four, and niece Skye, two, died in the blaze.
Former policeman Peter Bailey, a neighbour, said in a statement read to the court that he was watching TV with his wife on the evening of 19 October 2012.
He heard banging noises and his wife shouted that the house over the road was on fire.
"I went outside and saw that the front door of the house was well ablaze. There were loads of people in the street with black acrid smoke pouring out of the house," he said.
The front door was "a ring of fire" with black smoke billowing out, the court heard.
"The heat was intense with the fire raging, it was well under way," he said.
Mr Bailey said that he ran round to the back of the house and climbed onto a flat roof.
He climbed to the top of a ladder brought by a neighbour with the intention of getting into the flat but as he put his hand to the window he "felt the heat" coming from inside.
He said: "There was no way I could get in."
The jury heard from another neighbour Joe Shelley who was on his way to meet friends when he heard woman's voice shouting: "We cannot get out."
He said he opened the front door of the house and was surprised how much fire there was there.
He said: "I thought of going to try and help but, in the time I thought that, flames came towards the door and spiralled upwards."
The flames made "a massive whoosh sound" as they came out of the front door, he told the court.
The court heard Mr Shelley rang for the emergency services and began to describe what he was seeing.
He said that after running home for a torch, he had returned to the fire and saw a man inside the property saying he could not get close to the window.
The jury then listened to a recording of his 999 call in which he told how people were unable to get break a window to escape.
He was heard to say: "I don't think that they will be able to breathe much longer."
Ms Smith denies five charges of murder and also denies a charge of making an earlier threat to burn down the home of Samantha Schofield.
The trial continues.
Prestatyn fire death trial: Melanie Smith 'made threat'
April 11, 2013
A woman accused of starting a fire which killed five members of a family had previously threatened to burn down the home of a love rival, a jury heard.
Melanie Smith, 42, who lived in the flat below the family in Prestatyn, Denbighshire, denies five murders.
Witness Samantha Schofield said she had been warned that Ms Smith had threatened to burn her house down.
The prosecution at Mold Crown Court claims she started the blaze in a row over a pushchair. The trial continues.
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her four-year-old nephew Bailey and two-year-old niece Skye died in the blaze in Maes y Groes, Prestatyn on 19 October.
Firefighters managed to rescue Ms Shiers' 15-month-old son Charlie and his father, Liam Timbrell, 23, from their first-floor flat but they both later died in hospital.
The defendant wrongly believed that Miss Schofield, the mother of two young boys, was having an affair with her partner Steve Clarkson, Miss Schofield told the court.
She added: "The night of the fire, it shouldn't have been that house, it should have been my home.
"People were telling me, my sister told me - Mel said she was planning to burn my house down.
"But I didn't think she was capable of doing it."
The prosecution has said Ms Smith deliberately set fire to a pushchair because she was angry that Ms Shiers had left it in a shared hallway.
The jury was previously told that the family made desperate appeals for help while trapped in their first floor flat.
Mr Timbrell made a 999 call in which he shouted "help, help, someone has put it [the fire] on purpose, we're inside the flat".
The court was told that one neighbour opened the flat door and could see flames and the porch was thick with smoke.
During Thursday's evidence, Miss Schofield said that about six weeks before the fatal fire she had allowed Mr Clarkson to stay at her home when he had temporarily split up with the defendant.
She had got up one morning and found that his car had been vandalised and matches were left around the vehicle.
Questioned by Ian Murphy QC, for the prosecution, she said: "There were about 20 or 30 matches on the driveway and some more matches still in the box.
"Some were still live and others had been burned.
"I left the matches on the ground but picked up the box and put it in the bin."
Miss Schofield said she had not seen who did it but later that day her sister, Amy, said Ms Smith had told her "she planned to burn my house down".
Asked by Stephen Riordan QC, defending Ms Smith, why she had not reported the matter to police, she said she did not think she was capable of it.
Mr Riordan suggested Miss Schofield "hated" Ms Smith for accusing her of having a relationship with Mr Clarkson.
"As soon as the fire happened, and you knew the defendant had been arrested, you went to the police to make it worse for her," he said.
Miss Schofield said: "No, I thought, 'Oh my God', I went to the police because I wanted to help."
They jury had earlier visited Maes y Groes to see the remains of the property.
They also heard evidence from the landlady of the Royal Victoria pub in Prestatyn.
Norma Vaughan said that in 2008 Ms Smith, who had been banned from the pub, returned and made an arson threat when she was refused entry.
Prestatyn fire: Melanie Smith accused of murdering five family members
April 10, 2013
A neighbour has been accused of killing five members of the same family by deliberately starting a fire in a row over a pushchair.
Melanie Smith, 43, denies murdering the two adults and three young children in the blaze at a flat in Prestatyn, Denbighshire, last October.
The defendant set the fire deliberately due to a dispute over where a pushchair was left, Mold Crown Court heard.
She was said to be jealous of Lee-Anna Shiers, who lived in the flat above.
Ms Shiers, 20, her nephew Bailey, four, and niece Skye, two, died at the scene. Her 15-month-old son Charlie and partner Liam Timbrell, 23, were rescued but died later in hospital.
The court heard how Ms Shiers' pushchair, left in a shared hallway downstairs, had annoyed Ms Smith.
On the night of 19 October last year, the pushchair was set on fire deliberately with a naked flame, the court heard.
The jury was told that the family made desperate appeals for help while trapped in their first floor flat.
Mr Timbrell made a 999 call in which he shouted "help, help, someone has put it [the fire] on purpose, we're inside the flat".
Neighbour Joe Shelley made a 999 call when he heard a voice, which he believed was that of a woman, saying "we can't get out".
Prosecuting barrister Ian Murphy QC said that Mr Shelley opened the flat door and could see flames 2-3ft (0.6-0.9m) high and the porch was thick with smoke.
He stepped back as he heard a 'whoosh' sound and the flames came towards him, pushing him back.
In Mr Shelley's 999 call, the sound of Mr Timbrell fruitlessly trying to smash the window from the inside could be heard in the background.
He could be heard to shout: "Oh my God, oh my God, we're going to die".
Ms Shiers also called her father on her mobile phone and said: "Dad, there's a fire downstairs. I can't get out."
The court was told he and his wife drove to the house to find the front porch door "blazing in flames".
The defendant's partner Steve Clarkson was seen climbing out through the rear ground floor window yelling: "There's kids upstairs, get the kids."
Ms Smith was seen on the far side of the road with a blanket around her.
Mr Clarkson asked her how many children were there and she replied: "How the f*** do I know? She has everyone up there."
The jury was told that firefighters used a ladder and a small axe to break a window in the upstairs flat to rescue Mr Timbrell.
They also found Ms Shiers and the children in a bedroom, handing care of them to the ambulance service.
After he was rescued, Mr Timbrell insisted that Ms Smith was responsible for the fire.
He asked one neighbour if the babies were ok and said that the electricity went off as he was at the window trying to call 999. The family were plunged into darkness.
He told the neighbour: "I heard a woman shouting in the street 'I am going to set fire to your house'. It was Mel, she said I am going to burn the house down."
He also told a paramedic "It was arson, she did it, Mel did it" two or three times.
A police community support officer spoke to him and Mr Timbrell said: "She was shouting through the letter box 'I am going to burn your house down'."
Asked if he recognised the voice, Mr Timbrell said: "Yes, it was Mel from the downstairs flat."
The prosecution said Ms Smith had been drinking heavily that day and had been angry and hostile towards Ms Shiers over the previous two months.
Mr Murphy alleged that on a number of occasions Ms Smith had made threats that she would "set your house on fire with you and [your] kids in it".
It was claimed she was particularly angry with Ms Shiers' habit of leaving the pushchair in the hall, being noisy in her flat and being untidy, such as leaving cigarette ends around the front door area.
He also said that Ms Smith appeared jealous of Ms Shiers and had accused her partner of having a sexual relationship with her.
Mr Murphy told the jury of five men and seven women that it was an allegation for which there seemed to be no basis at all.
Ms Smith denies five counts of murder and one charge of making a threat to destroy or damage property by threatening to burn down a house in September.