Son who murdered mother after throwing petrol at her and starting devastating house fire faces life sentence

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A son who murdered his mother by throwing petrol at her and deliberately starting a devastating house fire faces a life sentence.

Mark See, 34, denied murdering 63-year-old Sandra See but was found guilty by a jury after four days of deliberations.

He is due to be sentenced at a later date.

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Manchester Crown Court heard that the fatal blaze broke out in the early hours of July 13, at the home they shared on Darras Road in Gorton.

See, who had been drinking whiskey and coke all evening, grabbed a plastic milk bottle filled with petrol after rowing with his mother.

Prosecutors said he threw petrol at her before starting a fire after a ‘furious, drunken argument’.

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See and his girlfriend Natalie Hughes were able to escape, but Sandra See died.

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After leaving the house, See drove off in his work van.

“She’s dead, she’s dead,” See was heard saying to Ms Hughes, his pregnant fiance who also acted as his mother’s carer.

“Let’s leave her, let’s go.”

Ms Hughes stayed and called 999.

See was only found about 16 hours later, in a churchyard near Manchester Airport.

Mark See

Police found him lay in the fetal position, having suffered burns to his hands and feet.

Ms See’s body was described as being ‘incinerated’. She had to be identified by a metal plate in her leg.

See told the jury that the fire was an accident, and denied wanting to hurt his mother.

He claimed that he picked up the milk carton, which he used to store petrol for a lawnmover, to scare his mother into thinking he was going to do ‘something stupid’ to himself.


They had been arguing about Ms Hughes’ role as Ms See’s carer, when his mother turned on him and said she wanted him to leave.

See said the bottle ignited when he lit a cigarette and he instinctively threw it on the floor, causing the catastrophic blaze.

He said he tried to save his mother, but had to flee after the flames became too strong.

Prosecutor Francis FitzGibbon QC told jurors during the trial: “We say that once you have heard the evidence you will be sure that Mr See murdered his mother by deliberately setting her on fire with petrol.

“He knew what would happen and intended it to happen.”

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See couldn’t explain why he drove his work van to an area near the cargo center at Manchester Airport.

He described being ‘traumatized and lost’ following the death of his mother, who he said he loved ‘more than anything’.

Mrs Justice Yip adjourned sentencing until February 25.

She told See that only a life sentence can be passed.



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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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