Gordon Cole QC prosecutes Falkner Street triple murder

April 24, 2018

Gordon Cole QC from Exchange Chambers has prosecuted a man who killed his wife and two children in Liverpool in May last year.

Sami Salem, 30, of Falkner Street, Liverpool was jailed for life with a minimum of 31 years, after he was found guilty of three counts of murder.

He had admitted killing them but on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Police officers attended a ground floor flat on Falkner Street in Liverpool shortly before 7.30pm on 30 May 2017 following reports of concern for the safety of the occupants.

On entering the flat, the bodies of Salem’s wife Arena Saeed, 30, and two children Shadia, seven, and Rami, four were discovered at the address.

Neighbouring properties on Falkner Street were evacuated as a precaution as Salem had poured 25 litres of petrol around the property and left the gas supply on.

Post mortems established that Arena and Shadia died as a result of asphyxia, and Rami died as a result of drowning in the bath.

Mr Justice Holgate at Liverpool Crown Court said the children’s deaths were “a gross abuse of trust”.

The judge added: “The two children were particularly vulnerable victims because of their age and because they were defenceless.”

He accepted Salem suffered from paranoid schizophrenia but did not suffer hallucinations or hear voices at the time of the killings.

The judge also said the illness had not affected Salem’s ability to “understand the nature of his conduct at the time” and it was “difficult to identify a psychiatric explanation” for the murders.

Gordon Cole QC is an experienced member of the criminal department at Exchange Chambers.