Oldham man remanded in custody in connection with fatal Leicester explosion

Date published: 06 March 2018

Oldham man Arkan Ali (37) and two others have appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of five people after allegedly starting a fire at a shop in Leicester using petrol.

Ali, from Oldham Edge; Hawkar Hassan (32) of no fixed abode; and Aram Kurd (33) from Leicester, were arrested after a Polish supermarket and two-storey flat were destroyed in an explosion on Sunday, February 25.

Four of those killed in the incident have been named as Shane Rajoobeer (18), Sean Rajoobeer (17), Leah Beth Reek (18), who was Shane’s girlfriend, and 22-year-old Viktorija Ljevleva, who had reportedly been living in Oldham.

The fifth victim killed in the explosion on Hinckley Road, Leicester, is believed to be Shane and Sean’s 46-year-old mother Mary.

The trio appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court to face a separate count of arson with intent to endanger life and were not required to enter any pleas.

Ali and Hassan looked straight ahead as they followed proceedings through a Kurdish interpreter.

Another man in his 40s from East Anglia was arrested on Sunday also on suspicion of manslaughter.

Two men, also from East Anglia, were arrested in connection with the incident on Friday but have since been released under investigation.

Yesterday (Monday), Ali, of Drake Close, Oldham, Hassan and Kurd spoke only to confirm their name, age and address during a 30-minute hearing.

The three men were remanded into custody by magistrates until a further hearing on April 3 at the city’s crown court.