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Pair appear in court after elderly women dies in Harold Wood house fire

Josephine Smith died following a house fire in Romford (credit: Met Police)

A man and teenager have appeared in court following the death of an elderly woman in a house fire in Harold Wood.

Mrs Josephine Smith, 88, died from smoke inhalation following a fire at a residential address in Queen’s Park Road shortly after 10.15pm on Thursday, 28 October. 

Kai Cooper, 18, from Leatherhead and a 15-year-old from Southend appeared at Thames Magistrates Court on Saturday, 8 January.

The pair were charged with manslaughter and arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered.

Both were also charged with assault by beating following a separate offence in High Road, Ilford, on the day prior to the fire.

On Saturday, Cooper was remanded in custody to next appear at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, 11 January.

The 15-year-old male has been bailed to also appear in court on the same date.

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