Badly burnt mum’s first beautiful tribute to 4 children killed in arson attack

A brave mum who suffered horrific burns in an arson attack that killed her four children today paid a beautiful tribute to them at their funeral.

Michelle Pearson, 36, was left in a coma after two lit petrol bombs were tossed inside her family home in Salford, Greater Manchester, last December.

Her children Demi, 15, Brandon, eight, Lacie, seven, and three-year-old Lia all died after suffering smoke inhalation and burns in the devastating fire.

This morning, the youngsters were carried into their funeral service in themed coffins – and in age order – by their heartbroken loved ones.

Michelle sadly could not leave hospital to attend the church service due to "unforeseen medical circumstances" – but a message from her was read out.





In the moving tribute – her first since the deadly attack – she described her beloved children as "so close", the Manchester Evening News reports.

The grieving mother said: "They were the twinkle in my eye, now they are angels in the sky. One day we will be reunited together forever."

She also mentioned each of her kids in turn, saying of little Lia: “She is dead clever, big blue eyes and a smile that melted your heart.”

She added of Lacie: "She loves to dance and sing. She would turn the TV on and just sing and dance along. It makes me smile just thinking about it.”

Michelle described Brandon as "a little architect in the making".

"He promised me he would build me a house," she said in the tribute.

And of Demi, she said: “We did a lot together. She was my best friend.”




The tribute was read to the emotional congregation inside St Paul’s Church in Walkden after the children’s colourful coffins were taken inside.

Mourners had earlier struggled to fight back tears as Demi, Brandon, Lacie and Lia were carried into the service, while bagpipers played Amazing Grace.

The procession had started on Jackson Street in the Walkden area – the same road the murders took place in just a fortnight before Christmas.

The siblings were carried through the streets – lined by well wishers – in four stunning horse-drawn carriages, featuring flowers spelling out their names.

Three carriages were white, with the one carrying Demi rainbow-themed.

Hundreds gathered to bid a heartbreaking farewell and crowds fell silent as the procession led by bagpipers and drummers filed past.




While Demi’s coffin had a music theme, Brandon’s had a Avengers one, Lacie’s a My Little Pony one and Lia’s a Peppa Pig one.

Among the mourners were the firefighters who had battled to save the family’s lives after the petrol bombs were hurled inside.

"They faced on the night one of the hardest jobs they ever faced," area manager Ben Levy said.

Ahead of today’s funeral, a Pearson relative had written on Facebook: "Well today’s the day, let’s finally put these beautiful souls to rest."

The procession left at 10am and was due to travel through St Mary’ Park and to Bridgewater Primary School, where Brandon and Lacie had been pupils.

It was then due to stop for a minute, before continuing to St Paul’s.




Mourners were asked to wear "black and pink for girls and black and blue for boys", while a family member told Mirror Online there would be "plenty of family speeches".

Afterwards, the siblings are due to be laid to rest together at a private burial.

Seriously ill Michelle had been determined to take the huge step of leaving hospital today to say an emotional goodbye to her four children.

The mum, who was described as still "critical" by loved ones in July, only recently managed to talk again and has been struggling to eat.

She has spent months fighting for her life, has battled a number of infections and has even had one of her eyes stitched shut because of her injuries.



Last month, a relative told us she would be attending the funeral "from the hospital" and that the family hoped it would be a "nice, peaceful day".

The relative said: "The public is welcome to walk behind the horse and carriages up to the service. They are also welcome to the service and can line the streets in a mark of respect, however the burial and wake are private.

"We just want it to be a nice peaceful day and to give the kids a really good send-off."

They added: "Michelle will be attending.

"She will have to go from the hospital."

But yesterday, Michelle’s mother Sandra Lever wrote on Facebook : "Due to unforeseen medical circumstances Michelle want be able to attend the children’s funeral on Friday (sic)."



Other users said they were "heartbroken" and "gutted" for the mum.

One replied: "We will all make her proud Sandra and give them the best send off big hugs and kisses too Michelle we all love her n miss her loads keep fighting iron lady xxxx (sic)."

Another said: "Aww gutted for her hope she gets better soon x."

At the time of the fire, Michelle screamed "Not the kids! Not my kids!" before being overcome by the smoke, heat and flames that had filled her home.

She was rescued from the property along with youngest daughter Lia – but the little girl tragically died in hospital two days after the incident.

Demi, Brandon and Lacie, who had been sleeping in a front bedroom when the house was petrol-bombed, all perished in the blaze, a court heard.


The "beautiful" children suffered cardiac arrests and died as a result of a combination of smoke inhalation and burns following the fire.

Despite her injuries and grief, Michelle was said last month to be making progress – with her proud relatives supporting her each step of the way.

The relative told us: "It’s a slow and long process but it will get better."

Today’s funeral took place nine months after the arson attack – and four months after two men were jailed for life for the children’s murders.

Zak Bolland, 23, was handed four life terms and told he must serve at least 40 years behind bars by a judge at Manchester Crown Court in May.


David Worrall, 26, was ordered to serve a minimum term of 37 years in prison.

Bolland was also convicted of three counts of attempted murder relating to Michelle, her son Kyle Pearson, 17, and his pal, Bobby Harris.

However, Worrall was found not guilty of three counts of attempted murder.

A third defendant, Courtney Brierley, 20, was found not guilty of murdering the children, but convicted of the alternative of manslaughter in each case.

She was handed 21 years in a young offenders’ institution.

Bolland had admitted reckless arson, a charge denied by the other two.

The court had heard Bolland had been involved in a "petty" feud with Kyle.

The lit petrol bombs were tossed inside the home at around 5am on December 11, 2017, with the second device ‘exploding’ near the stairs.

This blocked the only exit to the ground floor and trapped the victims upstairs as flames engulfed the house, the court was told.

Kyle and Bobby survived the attack, along with Michelle.

Loved ones have asked for family flowers only today.

Donations can be made to a charity chosen by Michelle.

The family earlier thanked supporters for "everything" they have done, but asked them to respect that the burial and wake would be private.

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