Man guilty of murdering his two children

A taxi driver has been found guilty of murdering his two young children with a petrol-soaked cloth and trying to kill his wife in a gas explosion.

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court heard Endris Mohammed, 47, attempted to murder his wife Penil Teklehaimanot by tampering with a gas pipe and setting fire to their home in Hamstead, Birmingham.

The father had denied the murders of Saros Endris, eight, and his sister Leanor, six, claiming diminished responsibility as a result of depressive disorder.

However, following a two-week trial, Mohammed was found guilty of two counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

Jurors were told that he appeared normal in the run-up to the deaths.

Endris Mohammed, 47, is to be sentenced on Monday

Image: Endris Mohammed, 47, will be sentenced on Monday

Mohammed pursed his lips and showed no other signs of emotion as he was found guilty on Friday – 30 minutes after the jury retired to deliberate a verdict.

He is due to be sentenced on Monday.

The verdict comes after the defendant, who suffered burns to his head after setting fire to the passenger side of his cab on the night of the killings, admitted he smothered his children.

Mohammed did not give evidence during the trial but his lawyers argued he was depressed about his future and his financial situation.

The Uber driver fled in his cab after killing the children at their home in Holland Road in the early hours of 28 October last year. He had bought a fuel can and three litres of petrol the previous day.

Police attending the scene last year in Holland Road, Birmingham

Image: Police attending the scene last year in Holland Road, Birmingham

Ms Teklehaimanot gave evidence at the trial and said her husband was “a gentle, quiet man” who did not seem angry in the months before the murders.

She said she had been asleep upstairs when Mohammed smothered the children during a half-term “sleepover” downstairs.

The mother said she was woken up by a fire alarm and thought her children were sleeping when she was unable to wake them.

Despite Mohammed’s claims he decided to end his life over financial worries, police enquiries found the family could have lived off Mrs Teklehaimanot’s earnings as a care worker.

Det Insp Justin Spanner called the case “absolutely horrific” and hailed the mother’s bravery.

He added: “Had the fire taken hold, and had gas escaped from the pipe, it could have caused an immense explosion and killed even more people than we are dealing with at the moment.”