MANCHESTER: A man accused of murdering a doctor and her daughter who were found dead after a house fire has appeared in court. Shabaz Khan, 51, is charged with killing Dr Saman Sacharvi, 49, and 14-year-old Vian Mangrio and appeared at Preston Crown Court by videolink.
The mother and daughter were found dead in their fire-damaged house in Reedley, near Burnley, on 1 October. Mr Khan, of Ribble Avenue, Burnley, is also charged with arson and is due to face trial on 1 June, 2021.
Dr Sacharvi, a junior doctor with Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, had been assaulted and died from pressure to her neck, post-mortem tests showed.
Investigations are continuing into how Vian died, but police said the youngster was badly burned. In a statement released following their deaths, their family said: “The world has lost two beautiful, kind, warm and compassionate people, always smiling and ready to help others. We will always cherish their beautiful memories and celebrate their life.”
Mr Khan did not enter pleas to either the murder charges or arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered.
Honorary Recorder of Preston Judge Robert Altham, set a plea and trial preparation hearing for 21 December and estimated the trial would last up to four weeks.