Jenny Hayes avoids murder over Point Cook house fire Melbourne, that killed couple and newborn


Arsonist who deliberately started a house fire that killed a young couple and their newborn baby won’t go down for murder after sweetheart deal with prosecutors

  • Jenny Hayes, 46, was charged with three counts of murder and arson 
  • A young couple and newborn baby were killed in the blaze at Point Cook 
  • Forty firefighters battled the fire for an hour on Wednesday at about 3.40am 
  • Abbey Forrest, 19 Inda Sohal, 25, and baby Ivy were engulfed in the blaze
  • Hayes will now plead guilty to arson causing death after making a deal with OPP 

The woman accused of burning alive an entire family while they slept in their home will not go down for their murders.  

Abbey Forrest, 19, Inda Sohal, 28, and their baby daughter Ivy had no chance of escaping the raging inferno that claimed their lives in December 2020.

On Wednesday, their killer Jenny Hayes indicated she will accept a sweetheart deal with Victoria’s Office of Public Prosecutions to plead guilty to the lesser charge of arson causing death. 

The family were killed in the blaze at Point Cook in Melbourne south-west in the early hours of the morning.

Jenny Hayes, 46, was arrested in December and charged with three counts of murder

Jenny Hayes, 46, was arrested in December and charged with three counts of murder

The bodies of Abbey Forrest, 19, Inda Sohal, 25, and their baby daughter Ivy (pictured together) were found inside a Point Cook townhouse after a blaze tore through the property

The bodies of Abbey Forrest, 19, Inda Sohal, 25, and their baby daughter Ivy (pictured together) were found inside a Point Cook townhouse after a blaze tore through the property

Police tape remained across the gutted remains of the Point Cook property where three people died in December 2020

Police tape remained across the gutted remains of the Point Cook property where three people died in December 2020

The 47-year old appeared in the Supreme Court of Victoria via videolink from Dame Phyliss Frost Centre where the court heard a plea deal had been struck between prosecutors and the defence.

Hayes had sobbed throughout her previous hearing in the magistrates’ court in April last year when she pleaded not guilty to the young family’s murders.

It remains unclear why Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd QC offered up the deal. 

Prosecutors told the court Hayes would now only plead guilty to arson causing death, which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in jail.

If convicted of murder, Hayes faced up to life in prison. 

She  had been arrested the morning after the killings amid claims she had an argument with a house guest of the family.  

The exact allegations put against Hayes by police still remain a mystery.  

At the time of the fire, the Herald Sun reported police were investigating whether it was in fact an alleged fight over sexual services that led to the fatal fire.

The newspaper alleged a dispute broke out over sexual services which were to be provided by Hayes before she returned and set the house on fire. 

Police later confirmed Hayes did not know the family she has been charged with murdering. 

Abbey Forrest, 19, Inda Sohal, 25, and their baby daughter Ivy had no chance of escaping the inferno amid allegations the only exit had been torched

Abbey Forrest, 19, Inda Sohal, 25, and their baby daughter Ivy had no chance of escaping the inferno amid allegations the only exit had been torched

Jenny Hayes, 46, was arrested and charged with three counts of murder

Jenny Hayes, 46, was arrested and charged with three counts of murder

Shattered friends and family attended the Point Cook property for days after the tragedy

Shattered friends and family attended the Point Cook property for days after the tragedy

Detectives had alleged Hayes used an accelerant to douse the stairwell of the Point Cook home before setting it alight.

A source has told Daily Mail Australia that just hours earlier a 28-year old male and close friend of Mr Sohal had allegedly kicked her out of the property before heading out for the night. 

He was not even home when police allege Hayes got into the home and set her deadly trap. 

‘They had no chance of escape. They were trapped,’ the source said.  

Emily Forrest visited the scene of the fatal house fire on Friday morning to lay flowers and a toy outside the remains of the home (Pictured left to right: Abbey Forrest, her sister Emily Forrest and their parents)

Emily Forrest visited the scene of the fatal house fire on Friday morning to lay flowers and a toy outside the remains of the home (Pictured left to right: Abbey Forrest, her sister Emily Forrest and their parents) 

Neighbours had tried to rescue the family, but the family perished in the house fire

Neighbours had tried to rescue the family, but the family perished in the house fire

The death of the young family sent shockwaves across the nation in the lead-up to Christmas 2020. 

Mum and baby were farewelled at St Mary of the Angels Basilica in Geelong, south of Melbourne just days before Christmas. 

Baby Ivy would have been just three weeks and not even have a chance to be baptised before her life was so cruelly cut short.

Her grandfather Alan Forrest – Abbey’s father – bravely paid tribute to the pair. 

He choked back tears as he spoke of the fun loving and generous Tomboy his daughter was. 

Mr Forrest said his family would not get a chance to gather at his daughter’s 21st birthday and he would not be able to provide a speech as father of the bride. 

‘She won’t make it to her 21st birthday speech, or her father of the bride speech. So this is one speech that I must take the honour of Abbey, Ivy and Indi.’ 

The shattered parent described his daughter’s love of horses and her hopes of one day becoming a paramedic. 

‘She was a generous kid,’ he said. ‘She was always grateful to and respected all of her teachers.’ 

hayes will appear back in court later this month.  

Tributes poured in for the deceased family with Ms Forrest's (left) sister Emily (right)

Tributes poured in for the deceased family with Ms Forrest’s (left) sister Emily (right)

She laid a Peppa Pig stuffed toy at the house in tribute of baby Ivy who was just two days away from turning three-weeks old

She laid a Peppa Pig stuffed toy at the house in tribute of baby Ivy who was just two days away from turning three-weeks old

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