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Man whose wife and two young daughters were murdered when neighbour poured petrol through their letterbox says killer’s reduced prison sentence is racist

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A father whose whole family died in an arson attack has claimed that it is ‘racist’ to shorten the killers sentence.  

Aboubacarr Drammeh, 41, lost his wife, Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, and their two daughters Fatimah and Naeemah, aged three and one, to a fire started by their neighbour Jamie Barrow in November 2022.

Barrow poured petrol through the family’s letterbox and then stood outside the home in Fairisle Close, Clifton, Nottingham, to watch the fire take hold, after holding what prosecutors described as a ‘grievance’ over rubbish being left in an alleyway. 

He was initially jailed for life with a minimum of 44 years in July last year, however last month an appeal reduced that down to 38 years after the original sentence was described as ‘manifestly excessive in the circumstances of this case’.

Aboubacarr Drammeh, 41, lost his wife, Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, and their two daughters Fatimah and Naeemah (pictured), aged three and one, to a fire started by their neighbour Jamie Barrow in November 2022

Aboubacarr Drammeh, 41, lost his wife, Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, and their two daughters Fatimah and Naeemah (pictured), aged three and one, to a fire started by their neighbour Jamie Barrow in November 2022

Barrow poured petrol through the family's letterbox and then stood outside the home in Fairisle Close, Clifton, Nottingham , to watch the fire take hold

Barrow poured petrol through the family’s letterbox and then stood outside the home in Fairisle Close, Clifton, Nottingham , to watch the fire take hold

Drammeh (left) has claimed that it is 'racist' to shorten the killers sentence to 38 years, from 44 years

Drammeh (left) has claimed that it is ‘racist’ to shorten the killers sentence to 38 years, from 44 years

The appeal also claimed to take into account the mental health of Barrow as a factor in reducing his sentence. 

However, Drammeh believed his family was directly targeted because they lived by a different religion and were a different race to Barrow. 

Barrow shared a YouTube video on Facebook in 2017 that called for ‘lawful rebellion’ against those practising sharia and describing the far-right activist Tommy Robinson as a ‘modern-day hero’.

Speaking to the Times Drammeh said: ‘I feel disappointed in the UK justice system. I started to think about what this would have ended like if this was a different family who were killed, if our positions were flipped. If there was a black guy doing this.

‘I didn’t really think about systemic racism in the UK before but I don’t know how else those judges could come to the conclusion and describe the sentence as excessive. 

‘He took away three innocent souls. I feel like I am the one serving the life sentence.’

Floral tributes left by mourners outside the family's home following the fire

Floral tributes left by mourners outside the family’s home following the fire

Smoke and soot smeared across the outside of the flat in Fairisle Close the day after the blaze

Smoke and soot smeared across the outside of the flat in Fairisle Close the day after the blaze

The couple moved to the UK a decade ago to start their family. Drammeh worked in the healthcare industry in the US, where they planned to move the following year

The couple moved to the UK a decade ago to start their family. Drammeh worked in the healthcare industry in the US, where they planned to move the following year 

The couple moved to the UK a decade ago to start their family. Drammeh worked in the healthcare industry in the US, where they planned to move the following year. 

Drammeh was also away on business on the night of the fire, which he said was purposeful: ‘He chose a night when they were alone, unprotected, sleeping. He was a coward.’

He continued: ‘I wanted an opportunity to really know the real reason why he did what he did. I don’t believe a word he said. I do think there was an evil plan, and I don’t think I will ever heal from it.

‘[My wife] may have had different faith and ate different foods and enjoyed different things to [Barrow] but at the end of the day, we led a very similar life. He had a child, he shopped in the same stores.

Ms Hydara, who died in hospital two days after the blaze that killed her daughters

Ms Hydara, who died in hospital two days after the blaze that killed her daughters 

Three-year-old Fatimah Drammeh died alongside her mother and younger sister

Three-year-old Fatimah Drammeh died alongside her mother and younger sister 

One-year-old Naeemah Drammeh was also killed in the fire at their home in Nottingham

One-year-old Naeemah Drammeh was also killed in the fire at their home in Nottingham 

‘I am now irreparable. The level of pain I cannot grade. I don’t even know why I am going to work any more. I still have a box of their things, I have Fatoumatta’s phone, I can’t even unlock it.

‘There is an empty void in me that can never be filled.

‘I would like to use this pain to help others. I told UK police officials I am more than happy to share my experience or to connect with similar groups. People who unfortunately may have some sort of an experience like this. 

‘I just don’t want another family to suffer. I cannot imagine another family experiencing this.’

After their deaths, Fatoumatta’s husband Aboubacarr Drammeh, 40, paid tribute to his loved ones and described their deaths as inconceivable.

Mr Drammeh, who flew back from the US after the fire, said at the time: ‘It is with great sadness that we have lost Fatoumatta and our two daughters in such a tragic way.

‘Fatoumatta had lived a short but a very beautiful and fulfilling life.

‘A former voluntary worker, Fatoumatta was a very happy, bubbly woman who wouldn’t have the heart to hurt a fly.

‘I and my in-laws are left without any daughters, grandchildren and nieces. I will deeply miss my family.’



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