A serial gambler has been accused of murdering a man and his daughter by burning their home to destroy evidence of a theft he committed.
Daniel Jones is accused of pouring petrol through the letterbox of the Broadhead family house in West Yorkshire on October 19 last year.
He murdered Andrew, 42 and his 8-year-old daughter Kiera in an attempt to destroy CCTV evidence.
The footage showed him stealing a safe from his friend’s house – who lived just yards away.
After the 29-year-old started the fire, neighbours rushed to save the family and rescued mum Sara Broadhead, 36, and their elder daughter.
But the “smoke and heat from the fire made it impossible” for them to rescue Andrew and Kiera.
While Jones denies the charges, prosecuting, Jonathan Sharp said: “This is a tragic case in many ways. Andrew and Sara Broadhead lived with their daughters.
“The family had just got back home from holiday and no doubt they were all tired.
“But at 4.17am someone approached their home, poured petrol through its letterbox and then set fire to that letterbox.
“Smoke and fire rapidly spread through the house. The family awoke and two of them managed to escape, Sara and her elder daughter.
“But the two others were not so lucky.
“The fire and smoke killed Andrew Broadhead and the fire and smoke also killed their youngest daughter Kiera.”
Jonathan Sharp added: “Daniel Jones did not set fire to the Broadheads’ house because he had some sort of grudge against them.
“No, he did it because he wanted to destroy evidence of another crime he had earlier committed.
“He had burgled a nearby house, he feared the consequences and he thought the CCTV from the Broadheads’ house would show him doing it.
“He wanted to destroy that CCTV by setting fire to the house, but that meant he would also kill, or at the very least seriously injure, anyone asleep inside that house.”