‘Cowardly’ triple murderer of mother and two young children in Nottingham flat fire jailed for minimum of 44 years

7 July 2023, 15:43 | Updated: 7 July 2023, 16:18

Jamie Barrow has been sentenced to a minimum of 44 years in prison.
Jamie Barrow has been sentenced to a minimum of 44 years in prison. Picture: Nottinghamshire Police/Facebook

By Jenny Medlicott

A man who killed a mother and her two children by setting their flat on fire has been sentenced to life in prison.

Jamie Barrow, 31, is to serve a minimum of 44 years in jail after he is charged with the murder of Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, and her daughters Fatimah and Naeemah Drammeh, aged three and one respectively.

Barrow, who lived next door to his victims, took petrol from his motorbike and poured it through the letterbox of the family’s flat before setting it alight.

Barrow used a Clean ’N Fresh spray bottle to pour the petrol as it had a slim neck that he knew would fit through the letter box.

He had consumed several cans of lager before committing the crime.

Courts heard the defendant had admitted the crime over a “grievance” related to rubbish being left in an alleyway - although an exact motive was not determined.

Barrow stood outside the flat in Clifton, Nottingham, and stood watching the flames take hold for “five minutes” and "walked casually away" from the scene, Prosecutor Simon Ash KC previously said in trial.

It was heard that he ignored the screams of the family as he watched on.

The defendant was found guilty on three counts of murder and one on arson at Nottingham Crown Court earlier this week.

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Fatoumatta Hydara, and her daughters Fatimah Drammeh and Naeemah Drammeh, were killed in the fire at their Nottingham flat.
Fatoumatta Hydara, and her daughters Fatimah Drammeh and Naeemah Drammeh, were killed in the fire at their Nottingham flat. Picture: Nottinghamshire Police

Speaking at sentencing today, Ms Hydara’s husband Aboubacarr Drammeh told the court that Barrow “knew exactly what he was doing and exactly when to do it”.

Reading his victim impact statement, he added: I was hopeless, and I was left helpless, because I didn't have a family, and it was the people who mattered most to me.

"Since then, it has been a downward plunge into darkness and the unknown.

"It was unthinkable, it was unplanned, and I wish this on no one else, including you."

Aminata Dibba, Ms Hydara's mother also said in a statement to court that the defendant was a “monster” and a “heartless human being”.

Barrow previously admitted manslaughter, although during trial the defendant said he “can’t explain” why he specifically targeted his neighbour’s flat.

He also claimed he thought the flat was empty and had no intention of hurting anyone by lighting the fire, as he apologised to the victims’ family in the witness box.

However Barrow was given a unanimous guilty verdict of murder and arson.

Mrs Justice Tipples said the offence "plainly involved planning and thought" and Barrow's alcohol intake was "the main reason" behind his actions.

She went on: "You knew they were all home, asleep, and you knew they would have no chance whatsoever.

"Seconds after you lit the fire you heard the fire alarm in the flat go off. You did nothing. "

Seconds after that you heard Fatoumatta screaming from the flat. You did nothing.

"Rather, you stood and watched the fire take hold, and you stood there watching the fire develop and spread for five minutes, which was an enormous length of time in the circumstances.

"You were well aware of what you were doing and I am quite sure from what you did that you wanted to kill Mrs Hydara and her children.

"I do not accept that you have shown any genuine remorse for what you have done."

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