A taxi driver who killed his two young children with a petrol soaked cloth before trying to kill himself has been found guilty of murder.

Endris Mohammed, 47, also attempted to kill his wife in a gas explosion by tampering with a gas pipe in their home in Hamstead, Birmingham, before fleeing.

He had denied the murders of Saros Endris, eight, and his sister Leanor, six, claiming diminished responsibility as a result of depressive disorder.

However, following a two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Mohammed was found guilty of two counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

The court had heard Mohammed was caught on CCTV purchasing a jerrycan full of fuel which was poured over a cloth and used to smother his children to death.

Just hours earlier he played on an Xbox with his son during a ‘sleepover’ in the lounge.

He then attempted to kill his wife by setting fire to their home before driving 40 miles away before finally trying to kill himself by setting the Vauxhall Insignia alight.

His devastated wife, Penil, 37, was woken by a smoke alarm and stamped out a small fire by the front door before finding the bodies of their children.

Emergency services rushed to the couple’s home following the blaze around 3,30am on October 28 last year.

The lifeless bodies of the children were dragged outside by their mother who thought they were asleep when they were actually in cardiac arrest.

Police released a mugshot of Mohammed showing the extent of his injuries to his face in his failed bid to burn himself.

The court had also heard Mohammed claimed to have killed his children because  ‘no money’ and ‘felt financially pressured’ by his partner.

He also claimed he did not want to leave them fatherless.

He was found guilty of two counts of murder and one of attempted murder after the jury deliberated for under 30 minutes.

Commenting after the verdicts, DI Justin Spanner of West Midlands police described the deaths as an “absolutely horrific” set of events.

He said: “The evidence of the pre-planning, the fact that two children have lost their lives, who were so young, vibrant, and were doing so well at school and had such a wonderful future ahead of them both – this has to be one of the worst cases I’ve dealt with.

“Had the fire taken hold, and had gas escaped from the pipe, it could have caused an immense explosion and killed even more people than we are dealing with at the moment.

“Penil has lost absolutely everything in this. She has lost her children, her husband who she trusted and loved the most, she has lost her house. She is an extremely brave lady who has been put through not only that, but also having to go to court to give evidence.

“The investigation team, and I’m sure the community, hope that she is able to find a way of going forward.”