THE woman accused of murdering two children in a house fire attacked members of their family in the months leading up to the arson, a court heard yesterday.

Sisters Shahnaz Akhtar and Nazmeen Khan told Oxford Crown Court about two fights involving Fiaz Munshi before the blaze.

Munshi denies murdering eight-year-old Anum Khan and her 15-year-old brother Majid, in the early hours of August 26, 1997, in Magdalen Road, East Oxford.

On the second day of evidence yesterday, the court heard that brother Amjad Khan was in prison for plotting to sell heroin at the time and had been in a relationship with Munshi, now 38.

Amjad’s family blamed Munshi, her sister Riaz and friend Haroon Sharif for his involvement in drug dealing. Miss Akhtar told the court the family had visited Amjad in prison and Majid had seen the three sitting in a car outside the prison.

Afterwards, they went to speak to Sharif and his family asking him to leave Amjad alone, then went to Munshi’s house in Freelands Road.

Miss Akhtar said: “The purpose was to let one of the elders know that Fiaz was visiting my brother at the prison and would not leave him alone and to come to an agreement to leave Amjad alone.”

She explained that Riaz and Fiaz swore at her mother, Mehfooz and her sister Annis before the Munshi sisters attacked them, pulling their hair.

She said Majid broke the fight up.

Then on June 9, 1997, Miss Akhtar was in the Westgate Centre having lunch with her sister Nazmeen when another altercation with Riaz – who was later jailed for manslaughter – and Fiaz happened.

She said they threw a can of Coke at her.

Prosecutor Neil Moore asked: “What happened next?”

She said: “They both attacked me and grabbed my hair and were using their nails and scratching and just grabbing my hair.”

In her evidence, Miss Khan said: “I remember clearly my sister was on her back on the floor and both were literally on top of her, punching her.”

Munshi, of Manley Road, in Oldham, was arrested last October after a police error meant she was not arrested until nine years after returning from Pakistan. The jury heard five men were convicted in 1998 for the murders of the two children.

The trial continues.

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