Men found guilty of woman's murder following 2018 Walkden fire
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Two men who petrol bombed a house in Salford and seriously injured a woman who died eight months later have been found guilty of her murder.
Zak Bolland (23/08/1994) of Blackleach Drive, Worsley, and David Worrall (15/04/1992) of Worsley Avenue, Worsley, were found guilty of the murder 37-year-old Michelle Pearson who was left in intensive care for eight months following a fire at her home which also killed her four of her children in 2017.
On arrival, officers were confronted by a ferocious house fire which left firefighters battling to get the fire under control to rescue those inside.
Eight-year-old Brandon Pearson, 15-year-old Demi Pearson and seven-year-old Lacie Pearson were sadly killed in the fire on Monday 11 December 2017 after police were called shortly before 5am to a report of a house fire on Jackson Street in Walkden. Three-year-old Lia was also in the fire and died in hospital two days later.
Bolland and Worrall were jailed for life after they were found guilty of the murder of the children back in 2018. Bolland was also found guilty of the attempted murder of their mum, Michelle Pearson, and their 16-year-old brother Kyle Pearson and his 16-year-old friend.
During the course of a four week trial, the court heard how Bolland, Worrall and Brierley made homemade petrol bombs in the kitchen of a nearby address.
Brierley then waited in a nearby car while Bolland and Worrall smashed through the kitchen window of the Pearson’s home and threw homemade petrol bombs into the kitchen and living room.
This left no possibility of escape for the young children or their mother as the house was immediately engulfed in flames.
Michelle received extensive treatment for her horrific injuries and was told about the deaths of her four of her six children whilst in hospital. Sadly, she died on 25 August 2019.
Courtney Brierley (25/07/1997) of Worsley Avenue, Worsley pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Michelle Pearson on 9 March 2021.
They will all be sentenced on 21 April.
Detective Chief Inspector Cheryl Chatterton, from GMP's Major Investigation Team, said: "This was a heartbreaking case and I'm glad that Bolland and Worrall have now faced justice for the devastating death of Michelle too - 20 months on.
"The bravery shown by the family and those affected has been outstanding - they have shown so much strength throughout both of our investigations.
"Bolland and Worral planned this attack and threw their handmade petrol bombs inside. The fire spread so quickly and the heat was so intense that the smoke alarms melted before they even had a chance to sound.
"That night in 2018 rocked the community and has turned the family's life upside down. Nothing can bring Michelle and the children back but I hope they can now be given time to grieve and come to terms with what has happened.
"All of our thoughts are with the family who have been through such a difficult time and have had to sit through two trials and listen to details on what was a horrific and planned attack."