Two teenagers charged with manslaughter over death of woman, 88, in London house fire

8 January 2022, 14:38 | Updated: 8 January 2022, 14:51

Josephine Smith – 88 – was pronounced dead at the scene.
Josephine Smith – 88 – was pronounced dead at the scene. Picture: Met Police

By Sophie Barnett

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

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Josephine Smith, aged 88, died in the blaze at a residential address in Queens Park Road, Romford on the evening of Thursday, 28 October.

A firework was recovered from the scene, and a post-mortem gave the cause of Ms Smith's death as smoke inhalation.

Kai Cooper, 18, of Cleve Road Leatherhead, and a 15-year-old boy from Southend, Essex - who cannot be named because of his age - will appear in custody at Thames Magistrates' Court on Saturday charged with manslaughter.

They are also charged with arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered.

Both were also charged with assault by beating, relating to a separate offence on October 27 in High Road, Ilford.