Three men in court over Leicester explosion

Three men have appeared in court on manslaughter charges following the explosion that killed five people in Leicester.

The blast destroyed a Polish grocery store and the two bedroom flat above it on Hinckley Road in the city just after 7pm on 25 February.

Aram Kurd, 33, from Leicester; Hawker Hassan, 32, of no fixed abode and Arkan Ali, 37, from Oldham appeared in a hearing at Leicester Magistrates’ court and were all remanded in custody. They were not required to enter a plea.

Hinckley Road explosion victim Viktorija Ljevleva

Image: Hinckley Road explosion victim Viktorija Ljevleva

Kurd was the manager of the grocery store.

The trio, who also face arson charges, will appear again via video link at Leicester Crown Court on 3 April at 10am.

Mary Rajoobeer, 46, is believed to be among the victims along with her sons Sean, 18, and Shane, 17, who were in the upstairs flat along with Shane’s girlfriend Leah Beth Reek,18, from Melton Mowbray.

Leah Beth Reek

Image: Leah Beth Reek

Viktorija Ljevleva, 22, who was working in the shop at the time, was also killed.

Three other men have been arrested and questioned as part of the police investigation.

On Sunday, a week on from the explosion, Leicestershire police renewed an appeal for information.

Sean, Mary Rajoobeer, Shane

Image: (L-R): Sean, Mary and Shane Rajoobeer

Detective Inspector Michelle Keen said: “It’s vital that we speak to anyone who may have information about any people they saw coming and going into the supermarket in Hinckley Road in the hours leading up to the explosion.

“Was there anyone in acting strangely or in a suspicious manner? Did you see any vehicles parked up, or being driving in a strange manner in the area around the supermarket?

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“What you saw may have seemed innocent and innocuous. But no matter how small the detail, no matter how insignificant it may have seemed, we need to speak to you. The information you have may be critical.”

:: Anyone with information should call Leicestershire Police on 101 quoting incident 443 of 1 March.

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