- A controlling husband who murdered his wife and two children has been jailed
- Sami Salem, 30, murdered Arena Saeed, 30, daughter Shadia, 7, and son Rami, 4
- A court heard he suffocated his wife and drowned his two children in the bath
- Salem, 30, sentenced to minimum of 31 years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court
Sami Salem, 30, had claimed diminished responsibility for the killings but was found guilty of murdering wife Arena Saeed, 30, daughter Shadia, seven, and son Rami, four, following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court
A 'controlling' husband, who suffocated his wife and drowned his two children, sat down and ate dinner in front of the television following the heinous murder.
Sami Salem, 30, had claimed diminished responsibility for the killings but was found guilty of murdering wife Arena Saeed, 30, daughter Shadia, seven, and son Rami, four, following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
He was sentenced to a minimum of 31 years in prison today.
Salem is said to have held his hand over his wife's mouth and drowned his two young children in the bath, before dousing their flat in petrol and taking an overdose.
Residents were forced to evacuate their homes on May 30 last year after engineers were called following reports of the smell of petrol and gas.
When relatives gained access to the family's home they found the three victims lying on the bed, with Salem almost unconscious at the foot of the bed.
The property was home to a flat owned by Beatles manager Brian Epstein in the 1960s, where Lennon and his first wife Cynthia lived shortly after they married.
At his sentencing hearing on Friday, the court heard Salem, who was surrounded in the dock by four workers from high security psychiatric hospital Ashworth, was a paranoid schizophrenic.
Sami Salem is accused of murdering his wife Arena Saeed and their children Shadia and Rami
A jury has been told Salem had reported seeing a 'black entity' and 'tall chimpanzees' due to his mental illness.
Mr Justice Holgate said there was evidence he was controlling and possessive towards his wife, who he married in Yemen in 2009.
Mrs Saeed was said to have asked for a divorce earlier in May last year.
The judge said: 'He sought to control her movements outside the flat and whom she met.
'He controlled her access to the internet and use of a mobile phone. This affected her ability to communicate with her family in the Yemen.
'She spoke little or no English, the family were not part of the Yemeni community in Liverpool and she must have felt isolated.'
The court heard Salem began to experience hallucinations and paranoid beliefs towards the end of 2016.
He saw a doctor in the week before the murders but was thought to have responded to medication.
Benjamin Myers QC, defending, said: 'This is not a murder, or murders, that takes place against a background of someone who had conventional clarity of view.'
A court heard he had schizophrenia and hallucinated 'tall chimpanzees'
Salem, wearing a black suit and tie with a white shirt, showed no reaction as he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
He told doctors he ate food and watched television after killing his wife and children before going to a petrol station and buying 25 litres of petrol, which he spread around the flat and over the legs of the children.
He took an overdose of medication he had been prescribed and when emergency services arrived at the property at 7.30pm they found the switches on the gas cooker had been taped so they remained open.
After the killings, Salem said he had not heard voices or experienced hallucinations at the time but described feeling 'something weird'.
Forensic psychiatrist Dr Mohammad Rahman told Liverpool Crown Court that he believes Salem was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the killings.
In a report, Dr Rahman stated: '(Salem) heard voices saying don't go into his house because something bad was going to happen. He heard voices instructing him to hurt people.
'He says one time when he was driving it said, "don't push the brakes, you can do this" which he managed to resist.'
Salem told Dr Rahman he had never been in love with his wife but denied claims he banned her from using her mobile phone or travelling.'
The court heard the family of Mrs Saeed said she was 'known for her kindness'.
Mr Justice Holgate said: 'She is described as 'a pioneer in doing good for all' and an ideal mother.
Her two children were loved by everyone who knew them.
The family is heartbroken and has suffered enormously.'