Pensioner feared to have been killed in house fire with five children had recently won care battle –

A pensioner feared killed in a devastating house fire along with five children was understood to have been at the centre of an emotional legal battle, it emerged on Tuesday.

David Cuthbertson is feared to have died when flames tore through his converted barn in mid-Wales, where he lived with eight of his 17 children.

Three of the youngsters, aged 13, 12 and 10, managed to escape from the burning building, but five others, aged 11 to four years old, are feared to have been killed shortly after midnight on Monday.

It is understood that Mr Cuthbertson, 68, had only won the right to care for his children in recent years, following a protracted legal battle with social services.

Neighbours said Mr Cuthbertson had fought to have custody of the children when they were taken into care after their mother, his former partner, suffered a severe stroke.


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