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Three deny manslaughter after Leicester shop explosion in which former Norfolk student died

PUBLISHED: 13:49 03 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 April 2018

Viktorija Ljevleva, 22. Pic: Leicestershire Police/PA Wire

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Viktorija Ljevleva, 22. Pic: Leicestershire Police/PA Wire .

Three men have denied manslaughter charges after five people, including a former Norfolk woman, were killed in a shop explosion.

Emergency personnel at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, after a explosion and subsequent fire that destroyed a shop, as three men have denied manslaughter charges after five people were killed in the blast. Pic: Joe Giddens/PA WireEmergency personnel at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, after a explosion and subsequent fire that destroyed a shop, as three men have denied manslaughter charges after five people were killed in the blast. Pic: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Former Great Yarmouth man Hawkar Hassan, 32, Arkan Ali, 37, and Aram Kurd, 33, were arrested after the blast destroyed a Polish supermarket and two-storey flat on February 25.

Mary Ragoobeer, 46, her sons Shane, 18, and Sean, 17, Leah Beth Reek, 18, who was Shane’s girlfriend, and Viktorija Ljevleva, 22, all died in the incident on Hinckley Road, Leicester.

Miss Ljevleva studied A-levels and completed a business management degree at City College Norwich in 2016. She also attended Ormiston Venture Academy in Gorleston, where she completed her GCSEs.

The trio also pleaded not guilty to separate counts of arson being reckless as to endanger life and fraud by false representation.

During a 50-minute hearing, Kurd, wearing a grey jumper, and Hassan and Ali, wearing blue jumpers, only spoke to confirm their names and to deny all seven alleged offences.

Appearing at Leicester Crown Court today via video-link from HMP Woodhill, the three men were told their trial is likely to be heard under a High Court Judge.

Ali, of Drake Close, Oldham, Hassan, of no fixed abode and Kurd, of Hillary Place, Leicester, were remanded into custody by Judge Philip Head until a further hearing on August 31 at the same court.

Hassan’s address was given as St John’s Terrace in Great Yarmouth at a previous hearing at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.

Miss Ljevleva’s mother had previously paid tribute to her daughter, saying: “There are very few children like my beautiful Viktorija. Friends were always jealous that I never had any problems with my little one.

“We shared a mutual understanding with one another. We miss her terribly.”

City College Norwich had described her as “a bright, hard-working student with a real passion for finance and accounting”, while Ormiston Venture Academy had said she was “a lovely, conscientious and caring student”.

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