20/11/2017 12:08 GMT | Updated 20/11/2017 12:09 GMT

Uber Driver Jailed For 33 Years For Murdering His Two Young Children

He also tried to kill his wife.

An Uber driver who killed his two young children and then tried to kill his wife in a gas explosion has been jailed for at least 33 years.

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court heard Uber driver Endris Mohammed attempted to murder his wife, Penil Teklehaimanot, by tampering with a gas pipe and setting fire to the family home in Hamstead.

Mohammed had denied the murders of eight-year-old Saros Endris and his sister Leanor, six, claiming diminished responsibility allegedly caused by a depressive disorder.

Endris Mohammed denied the murders, claiming diminished responsibility allegedly caused by depressive disorder 

A two-week trial was told Mohammed - who was found guilty of two counts of murder and one of attempted murder - appeared normal in the run-up to the deaths.

Mohammed, who suffered burns to his head after setting the passenger side of his cab alight on the night of the killings, admitted smothering his children.

He did not give evidence during his defence case but argued through his legal team that he was depressed about his future amid money worries.

Saros Endris, eight, and his sister Leanor, six were murdered by their father 

The 47-year-old fled in his cab after killing Saros and Leanor at their home in Holland Road in the early hours of 28 October last year, having bought a fuel can and three litres of petrol the previous day.

Mohammed met his wife in 2006 in Kent, after they came to Britain from East Africa as asylum seekers.

Giving evidence during the trial, Mrs Teklehaimanot said Mohammed was “a gentle, quiet man” who had not seemed angry or irritable in the months before her children were killed.

Mrs Teklehaimanot was sleeping upstairs when Mohammed smothered Saros and Leanor during a half-term “sleepover” in the lounge.

In her evidence to the jury, Mrs Teklehaimanot, who was woken by a smoke alarm, told how she initially thought her children were asleep when she was unable to wake them.

The court heard Mohammed claimed he had decided to end his own life because his “hopes for a good life in England” had failed, but police inquiries showed the family could live off his wife’s earnings as a care worker.

Mohammed suffered burns to his head after setting the passenger side of his cab alight on the night of the killings