The teenagers were charged with manslaughter and arson for the death of an 88-year-old woman killed in a fire

Teenagers, 18 and 15, are accused of killing a seven-year-old Blitz survivor, 88, who was killed in a fire at her London home, where fireworks were found.

  • Josephine Smith, a seven-time grandmother, died in a fire in Romford in October
  • Kai Cooper (18) of Leatherhead and a boy (15) of Southend were charged
  • Both were to appear in custody today at the Thames Court of Conciliation










Two teenagers have been charged with manslaughter and arson for the death of an 88-year-old woman in a house fire in East London.

Josephine Smith was pronounced dead on the spot after rescue services arrived at Queens Park Road in Romford on October 28 last year.

As many as 40 firefighters set out just after 10 pm at the call of the two-storey terraced house on fire. Josephine was rescued from the first floor, but did not survive.

Fireworks were found at the scene and an autopsy showed the cause of her death by inhaling smoke.

Kai Cooper, 18, of Cleve Road, Leatherhead and a 15-year-old man from Southend, are due to appear in custody at Thames Magistrates’ Court today.

Josephine Smith was pronounced dead on the spot after the ambulance arrived at Queens Park Road in Romford on October 28 last year.

Josephine Smith was pronounced dead on the spot after the ambulance arrived at Queens Park Road in Romford on October 28 last year.

As many as 40 firefighters set out just after 10 p.m. at the call of the two-story townhouse on fire.

As many as 40 firefighters set out just after 10 p.m. at the call of the two-story townhouse on fire.

Fireworks were found at the scene and an autopsy showed the cause of her death by inhaling smoke

Fireworks were found at the scene and an autopsy showed the cause of her death by inhaling smoke

They are accused of killing Josephine Smith and arson with recklessness as to whether their lives were in danger.

Both were also charged with personal injury and the October 27 highway in Ilford.

The couple had previously been arrested along with a third juvenile three days after the fire on suspicion of murder.

A third arrested juvenile, an 18-year-old woman, was released without taking any further action in connection with Josephine’s death, but accepted adult warnings regarding the possession of class A and B drugs.

Josephine, a seven-year-old grandmother, has lived all her life in the Harold Wood area, said Romford Recorder.

Relatives said that a mother of five and a grandmother of seven, who broke up with her husband 20 years ago, will go to and from school with the children every day.

She often recalled her memories of World War II and how she had to hide from Doodlebug flying bombs.

Her family added: “She was a fantastic, loving mom and grandmother. She was passionate about snooker and darts and was obsessed with Elvis Presley, who visited Graceland a few years ago. ”

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