Sydney, September 12: The exercise would have landed him an insurance payout of $225,000 – or so he hoped!
In the process he killed three people, setting fire to his Rozelle shop and causing a calamitous explosion that claimed the lives of Chris Noble, Bianka O’Brien and her baby son Jude.
Adeel Khan, 46 was handed a minimum 30-year jail term and maximum of 40 years in August, this year. He was to be eligible for parole on September 22, 2044.
Earlier, jury hearing the case had found Khan guilty for murder of Chris Noble and manslaughter of Bianka O’Brien and baby Jude.
Khan’s sentence also included causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Noble’s flatmate Todd Fisher and wounding second flatmate Corey Cameron and destroying the building for financial gain.
But, as he maintained during the trail, Khan continues to claim he is innocent and will appeal his conviction and sentence in the NSW Supreme Court.
At the trial the court was told that Khan had knowledge of people living above his shop, and yet set up an elaborate plan to destroy the building with a fire.
The jury head heard how 10 petrol containers were set-up within the store – linked by petrol-soaked material before Khan set it alight, with the intention of claiming an insurance payout.
While Mr Noble lived directly above Khan’s grocery store, Ms O’Brien and baby Jude lived adjacent above.
The father-of-three, Khan had undertaken the fire exercise believing that it would lead to an insurance payout, easing his financial pressures – a monthly rental bill of $8800 in addition to outstanding service bills and a failing business.
The judge termed Khan’s offence as “offending of the most serious kind”.
Khan himself has otherwise claimed that the catastrophic explosion had been caused when three armed robbers held him to ransom and had tied him up for five hours. Khan also maintained that it was these three robbers who had set the shop alight.
CCTV footage however, presented in court, showed Khan two days before the fire, filling up containers with more than 30 litres of petrol at a service station.
Mr Noble’s mother, Liz Noble said that she could not understand how anyone could have done what Khan did.
During the trial, the jury heard that Mr Noble while trapped in the inferno, caused by Khan, had sent a text at 4.08am to his mother saying “I love you”.
“I for one am very grateful that by the time he gets out of jail I won’t be here anymore. I don’t need to think about him spending time with his family when we can’t spend time with our family,” Ms Noble said.
Khan, a former IT consultant, holds a double Masters degree in Mathematics and IT with additional teaching qualification from the University of NSW.