Trio who murdered two teens and baby in Langley Mill house fire lose bid to overturn convictions

Peter Eyre

Peter Eyre

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A father and two of his sons who killed two teenagers and a baby in a horrific 'revenge' arson attack in Langley Mill have failed to convince top judges they should be set free.

Peter Alan Geoffrey Eyre, 45, and his sons Simon Lee Eyre, 25, and Anthony Paul Eyre, 23, were responsible for the blaze on North Street.

Simon Eyre

Simon Eyre

The trio, of Central Avenue, Sandiacre, killed 17-year old Amy Smith, her daughter Ruby-Grace Gaunt, aged six months, and 17-year-old Edward Green.

The fire took place on June 21, 2015, Lord Justice Simon told London's Appeal Court.

Petrol had been poured in the area of the front door and a nearby car and set alight.

The fire took hold and smoke entered the property activating the smoke alarm.

Anthony Eyre

Anthony Eyre

But the only means of escape was by the front door, said the judge.

And when the occupants made their way downstairs the fire had already taken hold.

Shaun Gaunt - the father of Ruby-Grace and partner of Ms Smith - and another teenager managed to get to windows in the living room and were rescued by neighbours using ladders.

The background to the blaze was said to be the theft of Mr Gaunt's moped, said the judge.

17-year old Amy Smith, her daughter Ruby-Grace Gaunt, aged six months, and 17-year-old Edward Green were all killed in the fire.

17-year old Amy Smith, her daughter Ruby-Grace Gaunt, aged six months, and 17-year-old Edward Green were all killed in the fire.

He believed another of Peter Eyre's son was responsible, leading to an argument.

The prosecution case was it was a joint enterprise murder. Father and sons 'deliberately started a fire as an act of revenge'.

Simon and Anthony were responsible for lighting the fire and their father drove them to and from the scene.

They intended to kill or cause very serious harm.

They were convicted of all three murders after a trial at Nottingham Crown Court and caged for life on February 12 last year.

Peter Eyre was ordered to serve a minimum term of 32 years, Simon Eyre a minimum 26 years and Anthony Eyre at least 23 years.

Lawyers for the father and sons argued that their convictions were 'unsafe' and ought to be overturned.

Grounds of appeal included that the judge should have ruled there was no case to answer for murder as the prosecution had not proved intent to kill.

But Lord Justice Simon said: "In our view the judge was right to rule there was a case to answer."

The judge's summing up of the case was 'fair to all the appellants', he added.

Sitting with Mr Justice Holroyde and Mr Justice Soole, he refused all three killers permission to appeal.