TWO men charged with the murder of a Blackburn mosque teacher in a fatal house fire have appeared at court.

Imran Ali, 29, from Manchester, and Peter Bowden, 39, from Lytham St Annes, were brought before Blackburn magistrates in separate hearings on Friday morning.

They are both charged with the murder of Abdullah Mohammed, 41, his 39-year-old wife Ayesha, and arson with intent to endanger life.

Both men were remanded in custody until a preliminary hearing at Preston Court on November 11.

Family of Mr and Mrs Mohammed were present in court, as were relatives of Mr Bowden.

Mr Mohammed died as a result of a fire at his house in London Road in the early hours of Wednesday, October 21.

The investigation became a double murder inquiry on Wednesday, October 28, when Ayesha Mohammed lost her seven-day fight for life.

Two of the couple's three children were in the house at the time of the fire.

The youngest son, nine-year-old Muhammad, has now been released from hospital and 14-year-old daughter Siddiqah is said to be stable.