A man who admitted murdering three generations of the same family, including a baby, in a horrific County Fermanagh blaze may never be freed from prison if a judge moves to apply a whole life sentence.

Daniel Sebastian Allen (32), whose address was previously the scene of the incident at Molly Road, Derrylin, but which is now given as Maghaberry Prison, has remained remanded in custody since his arrest.

He was charged with murdering Denise Gossett (45); her son, Roman (16); and daughter Sabrina, (19), whose baby daughter, Morgana Quinn, also perished in the blaze.

All resided in the County Fermanagh property when the incident occurred on February 27, 2018.

When first formally arraigned in 2020, Allen denied the charges, as well as one count of arson endangering life.

A defence barrister would later confirm a consultant psychiatrist conducted an examination of Allen which “does not support diminished responsibility, and we no longer have evidence to support that”.

At a further hearing in 2022, he accepted manslaughter of two adult victims, due to a suicide pact.

He continued to deny murdering Roman and the baby Morgana, contending they were already deceased.

The case was set for hearing in June this year, and a jury was sworn in preparation for trial, but on the morning this was to begin at Dungannon Crown Court, sitting in Craigavon, Allen’s senior barrister asked for him to be re-arraigned.

In respect of each, Allen admitted murdering Sabrina, Roman and baby Morgana; however, he maintained his position around Denise, accepting manslaughter by way of suicide pact.

He further admitted arson endangering life.

Prosecution counsel said the lesser plea in respect of Denise was acceptable.

On that occasion, Mr. Justice O’Hara told Allen: “You have pleaded guilty to three counts of murder, and I sentence you to life imprisonment.”

The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports and other relevant assessments are to be prepared.

Until return to court yesterday (Thursday, February 15), details of the shocking incident were largely unknown, and it fell to prosecution counsel Andrew McDowell KC to set out what has now been established.

He explained Allen was in a relationship with Denise and lived with her and her teenage children and granddaughter in the rented bungalow just outside Derrylin.

Around 7am on the morning in question, a neighbour saw the roof of the property was on fire, and emergency services were called.

Neighbours ran to assist and saw the front door was open, with smoke and flames billowing out, while Allen stood barefoot with his hands in the air, repeatedly shouting: “Don’t go in there.”

When asked if there was anyone inside, he replied: “Gone, gone.”

Several neighbours attempted to enter the house, but were forced back by the flames and smoke.

By the time NI Fire and Rescue arrived, the house was completely ablaze, and the roof had collapsed.

The fire crew learned there were people inside, and attempted to locate them, but the property was completely destroyed, with debris falling everywhere.

It was established no-one could have survived, and the crew retreated and continued fighting the fire from outside.

Prior to that, however, they discovered a body in a bedroom which was badly burned.

Remains were also noted in other bedrooms.

Meanwhile, police had arrived and found Allen standing at the front door, holding his head in his hands.

His face was blackened with smoke, and he appeared dishevelled, with blood on his clothing and "crying and wailing''.

He provided his name and stated he was a paranoid schizophrenic, but this was disputed in court, as there has never been a formal diagnosis.

Allen told police: “I'm sorry ... I started the fire.”

While being assessed by paramedics, Allen repeatedly said: “A promise is a promise.”

He claimed to have “promised to put them to the next life because they didn't want to stay here no more”, adding they “didn't want to be buried”.

After being treated in hospital for smoke inhalation, Allen was arrested.

The following day, specialist PSNI officers entered the property, and recovered the remains of Sabrina and baby Morgana on two single beds.

Roman was found lying face up on a bed in another bedroom, while Denise was face down beside a double bed, with a handcuff on her right wrist.

Lengths of fabric which had been soaked in heating oil were discovered throughout the property, and the blade of a large kitchen knife was lying in the hallway.

A post-mortem found all four victims "were extensively damaged by fire''.

Denise, however, had soot staining in her lungs, indicating she was alive when the fire started, but handcuffed to a bed, and the cause of her death was smoke inhalation.

While Allen claimed to have strangled Sabrina, there was no evidence to support this, although it is believed she was dead when the fire started.

The actual cause of death could not be determined due to the extent of the burns.

Roman and baby Morgana were also believed to be dead when the fire started, and it is suggested they died from GHB poisoning.

Allen, however, suffered no injuries at all, and while he would later claim he acted as part of a suicide pact, Mr. Justice O’Hara remarked: "It’s curious. One person doesn't escape at all, and the other person escapes pretty much entirely uninjured."

By way of background, Mr. McDowell said the family’s situation was “itinerant”, and they had moved to various location in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland before renting the bungalow in Derrylin, where they had lived for 18 months prior to their deaths.

However, it emerged Allen had met an American woman online in December, 2017, to whom he had disclosed his relationship with Denise was over.

Communication continued through January and February, 2018, with the last contact being two days before the incident.

During police interviews, Allen largely gave ‘no comment’ replies, but in a pre-prepared statement, said he was part of a suicide pact between both Denise and Sabrina, and they had all drunk GHB.

He claimed Sabrina killed her brother and daughter.

According to his statement, he strangled Sabrina, and then handcuffed Denise to the bed and cut her wrists.

It was disclosed Allen served a four-month prison term in 2015 for threats to kill a previous partner, although it’s unclear where this occurred.

Defence counsel Frank O'Donoghue KC described Allen’s life as “chaotic”, and impacted by mental health issues.

“He did not live in the real world, but lived in a fantasy,” said Mr. O’Donoghue.

Mr. Justice O’Hara adjourned sentencing until next week.