Bizarre scene outside court as father of children killed in fire 'started by their mother' arrives wearing horror clown mask

Bizarre scene outside court as father of children killed in fire 'started by their mother' arrives wearing horror clown mask

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:31 AM on 2nd February 2011

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* Young mother, 23, jumped from upstairs window with eight-month-old son
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A father whose cheating allegedly drove his partner to start a fire which killed two of their three children bizarrely arrived at court yesterday wearing a grotesque clown mask.

James Maynard donned the disguise, which stunned onlookers, as he attended the murder trial of his former partner Fiona Adams.
James Maynard
James Maynard in clown mask

James Maynard was pictured (right) wearing a grotesque clown mask as he attended the murder trial of his former partner at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday. He was later seen without the mask, left

He grinned as he removed the mask before entering the courtroom. He offered no explanation as to why he chose to wear the disguise, which is reminiscent of the red-haired clown in Stephen King's horror novel 'It'.

Ms Adams, 23, is alleged to have started the fire to ‘create a drama’, but the blaze took a ‘rapid and devastating hold’ on the semi-detached home she shared with her family.

Although she managed to escape and throw her youngest son Kiernan, now 18 months, to safety, her daughter Niamh, five, and son Cayden, two, died.

Yesterday Nottingham Crown Court heard that her relationship Mr Maynard, 28, had been ‘volatile’ since they met when she was just 17.
Tragedy: Two-year-old Cayden, left and Niamh, five, right, died in the blaze. Baby Kiernan, centre, survived

Tragedy: Two-year-old Cayden, left and Niamh, five, right, died in the blaze. Baby Kiernan, centre, survived

She became pregnant shortly afterwards but although they stayed together at their council home in Buxton, Derbyshire, their relationship was blighted by his string of affairs.

Timothy Spencer QC, prosecuting, said: ‘This is a tragic case, but the tragedy that it represents was entirely avoidable. Fiona Adams was in an unhappy situation.

'No decent human being could fail to sympathise with her predicament.

‘There were many ways in which she could have dealt with things. What she chose to do was create a drama around herself and her children and that drama culminated in her starting a fire at her own home, which took a rapid and devastating hold.’
Fiona Adams, 23, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Niamh, five, and two-year-old Cayden

Accused: Fiona Adams, 23, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Niamh, five, and two-year-old Cayden (pictured)

The court heard that Adams was depressed and had made several suicide attempts over Mr Maynard’s affairs which left him ‘untouched and unmoved’.

The couple later reconciled and she fell pregnant with their third child, Kiernan, in November 2008.

But after he was born in August 2009, Mr Maynard had another affair.

On the night of the fire on April 23 last year, he had taken an extra shift at work, which ‘annoyed’ Adams because the previous night he had not returned home until 2am.

She visited a local shop and bought 12 cans of lager, but witnesses said she appeared to be behaving normally in the hours before the fire. Only later in the evening did she appear to have had a drink.

At 10pm noises from her garden were recorded by a CCTV camera.
Blaze: Adams escaped from the house by jumping from an upstairs window with her eight-month-old son, Kiernan

Adams escaped from the house by jumping from an upstairs window with her eight-month-old son, Kiernan

Adams claimed that this was her barbecue being knocked over by vandals, who she also says threw her flowers around.

But the prosecution claims she made the noises herself to make it appear like someone else started the fire.

Immediately afterwards a message posted on her Facebook page warned local thugs to stay away from her and her house.

It read: ‘Whoever it is that is trying to p*** me off it ain’t working. You can destroy anything in my garden that you want and break any windows you want, I ain’t a**** any more, just leave me alone or you will regret it.’

Minutes after the noises were recorded by the CCTV, Adams telephoned Mr Maynard three times, but the calls went unanswered.

Mr Spencer said: ‘This was the next part of the drama, the next part of the charade.’
The court heard Adams sought attention from her partner James Maynard, the children's father, after their relationship broke down

The court heard Adams sought attention from her partner James Maynard, the children's father, after their relationship broke down

Experts calculated that the fire was started in a laundry basket at around the same time as Adams was shutting down her laptop after posting the message on Facebook.

It is claimed while the fire was smouldering in the hall she made three more calls, one to Mr Maynard and two to friends, but none were connected.

The fire then got out of hand, and Adams escaped with Kiernan out of a window.

She then called the police and fire brigade.

Officers found the garden in a state, but saw no signs of a disturbance or anyone in the vicinity. Neighbours also said they had not seen anyone hanging around.

Adams denies murdering the two children.

She has also pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Kiernan and arson with intent to endanger life.

The trial continues.

Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1352200/Father-James-Maynar

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By: KronosTitan (83.74)

Tags: uk, crime, children, death

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