Jury sworn in for trial of man accused of murdering three generations of family in a fire

Defence case is that according to accused, ‘he had a suicide pact with the eldest two ladies’ and no part in deaths of ‘the youngest two’

A jury was sworn in on Monday to hear the trial of a man accused of murdering three generations of a family in a fire.

Mr Justice O’Hara told Craigavon Crown Court jury it was the prosecution case that 32-year-old Daniel Sebastian Allen was guilty of murdering four members of the Gossett family on February 27th, 2018, in a fire at their home on Molly Road in Derrylin.

He added, however, it was the defence case that according to Allen, “he had a suicide pact with the eldest two ladies … and that he didn’t have any part in the deaths of the youngest two”.


Allen, whose address was given as Maghaberry prison, faces four charges of murder relating to the deaths of 45-year-old Denise Gossett, her son Roman (16), her daughter Sabrina (19) and Sabrina’s 15-month old daughter Morgana and one count of arson with intent to endanger their lives.


Warning the jury that it would be a criminal offence for them to conduct any of their own research into the case, the judge outlined how local people in the village of Derrylinn “saw that there was a fire in a cottage” and the emergency services were called.

When emergency crews arrived at the scene, Allen “was standing outside and literally when the dust settled, four bodies were found inside”.

“The prosecution case against Mr Allen is that he was responsible for the four murders and for the arson of the cottage but Mr Allen denies these four murders,” he told the jury.


The judge added that while he was not going into details at this stage, “if you are satisfied that there was a suicide pact for the older two ladies, it will be open to the jury to convict him of manslaughter rather than murder”.

As regards the younger two victims, the judge said the jury could convict him of murder or manslaughter.

Adjourning the case until Tuesday morning the judge said it would be “no surprise to hear” that the incident attracted considerable news reporting at the time but that as a jury, “you are absolutely not allowed” to conduct their own research of look up the media coverage.

“When you come to try this case it is only on the evidence you hear in this court,” said the judge said.

The trial, set to last until the end of the month, continues.