A brave UK teenage girl has confronted the man responsible for the deaths of her father and little sister in court.
Mia Broadhead, 13, gave a victim statement in Leeds Crown Court about her father, Andrew, and sister, Kiera, 8, in a move prosecutor Jonathan Sharp said was “very brave” and the first time a 13-year-old had enough courage to give a personal victim statement in court, The Metro reports.
The teen and her mother, Sara, escaped a house fire in the early hours of October 19, 2016, which claimed the lives of two members of the family.
The fire was started by burglar 29-year-old father-of-two Daniel Jones.
The jury heard he was debt-ridden and was worried CCTV footage shot from a camera on top of the Broadhead’s home would reveal he had stolen a safe containing more than A$1400 and drugs from a friend’s house opposite three days earlier.
Jones believed the family were on holiday, but the Broadheads returned just hours earlier from a fortnight abroad.
Detectives later found the camera wasn’t working.
On Wednesday, Mia sat in the witness box and told the judge about how difficult it was to cope following the fire. The judge gave her special permission to be in the courtroom as the usual age limit is 14 in the Crown Court.
Mia said her father was her hero and was thankful for his “happiness, kindness and love for everyone”, while her sister was “the world’s brightest star and nobody will dull her sparkle”.
“She didn’t deserve this, neither of them did,” Mia said.
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After she gave her statement, Mia returned to the public gallery and hugged her mother.
Mrs Broadhead also read out a personal impact statement to the judge.
Jones, who sat in the dock wearing a light grey suit, stared ahead as the statements were read and showed no emotion as he was handed his sentence.
He was sentenced to 20 years’ jail convicted of two counts of manslaughter.