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Paddington pair charged over Camberwell fire

PUBLISHED: 17:02 24 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:06 24 September 2010

A PADDINGTON man and woman has been charged in connection with the murder of a toddler who died after a blaze tore through a Camberwell flat.

Josephine Nicolas, 46, of Wilmcote House, Paddington, appeared at Tower Bridge Magistrates’ Court charged with perverting the course of justice.

Richard Curtis Kwayke, 27, of Andover Road, Twickenham appeared at the same court charged with the murder of Siariah Letang, 19 months old, who died in hospital following the fire in Camberwell early on Saturday.

He is also charged with the attempted murder of four other people, arson, and arson with intent to endanger life.

Dimitri John Lewis, of Wilmcote House, Paddington, was the third person in court and was remanded in custody by magistrates to appear at the Old Bailey at a date to be fixed.

They were both remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey at a date to be fixed.

The two-bedroom, first-floor flat in Arnould Avenue, a residential area of Camberwell, was destroyed by the fire which started in the early hours of Saturday morning. Fire crews used thermal imaging cameras and breathing apparatus as they attempted to rescue the child and four family members trapped in the building.

The group - reported to be grandmother Brenda Ricketts, 45, her daughters Shakira Jackson, 11, and Ellisha Letang, the child’s 23-year-old mother, and her four-year-old son Cameron - were found with the toddler. They were all unconscious and suffering from smoke inhalation.

Shakira remains in a critical condition while the other surviving relatives are in a “serious but stable” condition, police said. A post-mortem examination on the toddler gave the cause of death as carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation.

Police said a 19-year-old man was also charged with perverting the cause of justice.

A 28-year-old woman arrested on Saturday night was last night bailed to return to a south London police station at a future date, pending further inquiries.

Detectives investigating the fire are appealing for information about a car. The vehicle is described as a right-hand drive light blue Ford Escort with the registration R722 VOC


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