‘How could you do this to our family?’: Callous son started devastating blaze that killed mum after argument over booze delivery service

The sister of a murderer who killed their mother by starting a devastating house fire hit out at her brother, asking ‘how could you have done this to our family?’

Jennifer Joan See spoke out as her brother Mark See was jailed for at least 21 years, for the horrendous murder of their 63-year-old mother Sandra See, who was burned alive in her own home.

Mark See, 34, used petrol to start the blaze following a drunken argument, which ripped through the bungalow he shared with his mother and pregnant fiance in Gorton.

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See tried to save his mum but fled shortly after, and was found 16 hours later lay in a fetal position, 12 miles away in a churchyard near Manchester Airport.

“I look at him and think, ‘you are my brother, how could you have done this to our family?'” Ms See said of her brother.

See, who was also burnt during the fire, is said to be on 24 hour suicide watch in prison.

He showed no emotion as he was jailed for life, and told he must serve at least 21 years before he can be considered for release.

The judge, Mrs Justice Amanda Yip, said it was a ‘particularly horrifying’ murder.

“She (Sandra See) must have experienced the horror of recognizing that she was trapped in a burning room.

“That was a truly horrifying way to die.”

Mark See

The judge said he’d also put the life of his fiance Natalie Hughes in danger. She was eight weeks pregnant at the time.

See was found guilty of murder following a Manchester Crown Court trial earlier this month.

He had moved in to his mother’s home before the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, to help her as she had become frail following a fall.

Her mobility was poor and she needed a Zimmer frame to get around.

The pair had a ‘complicated’ relationship. Sandra left the family home when Mark was a child and he was looked after by their father instead.

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The remains of the living room at the bungalow on Darras Road

See said he had an on-off relationship with his mother, and the pair would argue about the past.

Sandra would apparently tell Mark she wished he’d he had never been born and say he had been a mistake, while he would claim his mother had chosen men over him and his sister.

“You appear to have blamed her for a difficult childhood,” the judge said of Mark See.

Hours before he started the blaze, See had a ‘normal’ day at work as a driver delivering furniture, but came home in a bad mood.

He bought whiskey and cola on his way home.

Sandra See

A neighbor heard ‘shouting and balling’ as See continued drinking for hours and became more belligerent.

See rowed with his mother and accused Ms Hughes, who acted as her carer, of being ‘lazy’ and said she should leave.

His mother said Ms Hughes was a ‘nice girl’ who cared for her, and if anyone should leave it would be him.

“This seems to have enraged you further,” the judge said.

See wanted more booze and called an alcohol delivery service, telling his mum that he would transfer some money from her bank account to pay for it.

After she threatened to call the police, See smashed her phone.

Shortly after, See grabbed a six pint milk bottle, containing petrol which he used for a lawnmower.

Using a cigarette lighter, he started a devastating fire which quickly spread and left Sandra trapped.

See claimed at trial that he had been trying to scare them into thinking he was going to harm himself.

After the fire took hold, See grabbed a duvet and tried to put her out, but the flames only got stronger and he and Ms Hughes escaped.

“F*** it, she’s dead, let’s go,” See was overheard to tell Ms Hughes.

He drove off in his work van, at about 2.30am on July 13, but Ms Hughes stayed and called 999.

Ms See was so badly burnt that she had to identified by a metal plate inserted in her leg.

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Police at the house hours after the fire

After being found 16 hours later, See was taken to hospital for treatment for burns he’d suffered.

As he recovered in the burns unit, See told a nurse he’d previously had ‘dark thoughts’ of harming his mother in a house fire.

“July 13, 2021 will forever be etched in our memories as one of the most horrific days of our lives when we lost our beloved mother Sandra,” his sister said in a statement.

“Our mum was full of character and she very much loved a good game of bingo and enjoyed doing a crossword.

“The last five years have been really good and we have spoken to each other every day.

“We all miss our mum greatly every single day and wish she was here right now enjoying life.

“My mum had her difficulties in her life but we still very much loved her nonetheless, and we feel her loss immensely.

Mark See

“I would give anything to have one more conversation with her.

“I also want to say that this case is even more harrowing and heartbreaking as the person responsible for her tragic and brutal death is our own brother, and this makes it even more difficult to cope with.

“I have never had to endure such a traumatic experience in my life like this before.

“As a family we are still trying to come to terms with what has happened.

“We will never be able to come to terms with all of this, as not only have we lost our mum, it is our brother.

“At the end of the day we have had a relationship with him.

“I look at him and think, ‘you are my brother, how could you have done this to our family?’

“As a family we are all truly broken and emotionally exhausted, and want to be able to move forward and obtain some sort of closure.”

Defending, Mark Rhind QC said Mark See had a ‘close and special bond’ with his mother, and that he is sincerely remorseful for killing her.

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“He wishes to say to the court that he misses her and grieves the loss of her.

“I still can’t believe she is not there.”

After the hearing, Senior Investigating Officer Phil Reade, from GMP’s Major Incident Support Unit, said: “This was a truly devastating case where See’s remorseless actions cost his mother’s life.

“Our thoughts are with Ms See’s family who are still coming to terms with what happened. Throughout the trial they have sat with dignity whilst listening to the evidence of how their mother met her horrific death before the jury returned a guilty verdict.

“Sandra was murdered in her own home by her son who callously doused her in petrol, setting her light and then fled from the scene as fast as he could but was tracked down by police and arrested.

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“Throughout the trial he lacked the courage to face up to his actions causing further pain and distress to his family, but I hope today’s sentencing brings them some comfort and justice for the death of their beloved mother.”

Anthony Stanway, CPS Senior Crown Prosecutor, added: “Mark’s See’s unbalanced reaction to a petty argument was to set fire to his own mother in this most horrific of cases.

“He denied he intended to kill her and that he only threw the petrol and had a lighter in his hand to shock her following their argument.

“However we presented evidence to the jury which discounted his version of events and the jury agreed with the prosecution case that he did in fact intend to kill his mother or at the very least he cause her really serious harm when they found him guilty of murder.

“While nothing can bring Sandra See back, I hope this sentence provides some sense of justice to her family and friends. Our thoughts remain very much with them at this time.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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