Drug dealers burned down home killing a mother and her son, four, over her partner’s £400 debt


Two drug dealers burned down a family home killing a mother and her four-year-old son over a £400 debt.

Gina Ingles, 34, died shielding her son Milo from the flames after Jacob ‘Jake’ Barnard, 31, and his enforcer Andrew Milne, 42, poured petrol through the letterbox.

Fire investigators found Ms Ingles crouching over her deceased son, with the pair huddled under a windowsill in their burnt-out bedroom. A dog they were looking after for a friend was found dead next to them.

Ms Ingles’ partner Toby Jarrett spent months in hospital after jumping from a second floor window as the family attempted to escape the fire in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Barnard and henchman Milne were convicted of murdering the young mother and Milo and the attempted murder of Mr Jarrett by setting fire to the family home.

DNA matching Barnard was found on the lighter and DNA matching Milne was found on the petrol can both discarded at the scene.

Gina Ingles, 34, died shielding her son Milo from the flames at the family home in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Toby Jarrett spent months in hospital after jumping from a second floor window (pictured: Ms Ingles, Mr Jarrett and Milo)

Jacob 'Jake' Barnard, 31

Andrew Milne, 42

Jacob ‘Jake’ Barnard (pictured left), 31, and henchman Andrew Milne (right), 42, were convicted of murdering the young mother and Milo and the attempted murder of Mr Jarrett by setting fire to the family home

Investigators said patterns of burning showed fire started in the hallway and spread up the staircase to the top floor and roof (pictured: forensic officers at the family home in Eastbourne)

Investigators said patterns of burning showed fire started in the hallway and spread up the staircase to the top floor and roof (pictured: forensic officers at the family home in Eastbourne)

CCTV from another house on the street showed Milne and Barnard looking back as they walked calmly away from the fatal blaze.

Firefighters took more than two hours to douse the fire. 

A jury in Brighton heard Mr Jarrett woke at around 1.30am on July 10, 2018, to a room full of smoke and a yellow glow.

The couple leapt out of bed with Gina heading straight to her son’s room.

As flames lapped the walls, she grabbed Milo from his bed and ran back across the burning landing to her room.

Toby Jarrett was badly burned as he crossed the landing after her. He fell to the ground after balancing on the bedroom windowsill.

Kate Lumsdon QC told the jury: ‘Struggling to his feet, he shouted to Gina to pass Milo down to him. There was no reply. He shouted and shouted but he could not see Gina or Milo. 

‘Days later, when the house was assessed as safe to enter, the remains of the bodies of Gina and Milo were found in Gina’s bedroom, under the window.

‘Gina was crouching over Milo, protecting him.’

The body of a dog the family were looking after for a friend was lying next to them, with a burning petrol can left outside the front of the house.

CCTV (pictured above) from another house on the street showed Barnard and Milne looking back as they walked calmly away from the fatal blaze

CCTV (pictured above) from another house on the street showed Barnard and Milne looking back as they walked calmly away from the fatal blaze

One of the first firefighters on the scene noticed a burning green fuel can (pictured left and right) as he approached the front doorway

One of the first firefighters on the scene noticed a burning green fuel can (pictured left and right) as he approached the front doorway

Ms Lumsdon told the court: ‘Fire ripped through the small terraced house like a torch.’

The jury was told Mr Jarrett owed £400 to a local drug dealer. Ms Lumsdon said the fire was intended to send a message.

She said: ‘The general message sent out to the wider drug community – don’t mess with this drugs line.’

The fire took more than two hours to put out, the court heard.

Investigators said patterns of burning showed fire started in the hallway and spread up the staircase to the top floor and roof.

Gina and Milo died of smoke inhalation.

Toby Jarrett suffered partial full thickness burns to 40 per cent of his body, five fractured vertebrae in his back and a fractured pelvis.

One of the first firefighters on the scene noticed a burning green fuel can as he approached the front doorway.

The lighter used to set the fire. DNA matching Barnard was found on the lighter and DNA matching Milne was found on the petrol can both discarded at the scene

The lighter used to set the fire. DNA matching Barnard was found on the lighter and DNA matching Milne was found on the petrol can both discarded at the scene

The weapons found in Milne's shed. Police found a collection of knives, an extendable baton, a taser together with gloves and a balaclava

The weapons found in Milne’s shed. Police found a collection of knives, an extendable baton, a taser together with gloves and a balaclava

Barnard ran his drug empire from a villa in Macieira, Portugal, the court heard.

He dealt in second hand cars, buying them in the UK and taking them to Portugal to sell on.

Ms Lumsdon said: ‘He also dealt in drugs. He said that someone had owed him money and he wanted to make an example of him.

‘He said that he and ‘a Scottish guy’ had poured petrol through the letterbox and set fire to the house.’

Barnard was convicted of drugs offences in Portugal and jailed in June last year.

Milne, known as Scotty or Scottish, denied he was Barnard’s enforcer in the UK, Ms Lumsdon said.

Police uncovered a hoard of weapons when they searched Milne’s shed.

The cars used by Barnard and Milne. Barnard dealt in second hand cars, buying them in the UK and taking them to Portugal to sell on

The cars used by Barnard and Milne. Barnard dealt in second hand cars, buying them in the UK and taking them to Portugal to sell on

They found a collection of knives, an extendable baton, a taser together with gloves and a balaclava.

In October 2018, Milne, originally from Glasgow, sent a text message to his girlfriend after she complained about having too much work.

He wrote: ‘Set it on fire and walk out but just as you leave drop the lighter like a mike xxxxx.’

Ms Lumsdon said police found Milne bought 15 litres of petrol from a petrol station in Hastings four days before the fire.

On January 5 this year following extradition proceedings, Barnard was flown into Gatwick from Portugal and arrested.

He will be returned to Portugal to finish his sentence there.

Barnard and Milne will be sentenced tomorrow.

John Tabakis, who drove the car used in the murders to Portugal, will be sentenced at a later date.

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