Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Man in court over child blaze death

The scene in Arnould Avenue, Camberwell, following a fire at a first-floor flat which claimed the life of a child

A man is to appear in court charged with the murder of a toddler who died after a blaze tore through a flat.

Siariah Letang, who was 19 months old, died in hospital following the fire in Camberwell, south east London, early on Saturday.

Richard Curtis Kwayke, 27, of Andover Road, Twickenham, will appear at Tower Bridge Magistrates' Court on Thursday charged with her murder.

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

Josephine Nicolas, 46, of Wilmcote House, Paddington, will appear at the same court charged with perverting the course of justice.

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 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 into the toddler's death gave the cause of death as carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke inhalation.

A 19-year-old man arrested on Tuesday remains in custody at a south London police station while a 28-year-old woman arrested on Saturday night was bailed to return to a south London police station at a future date, pending further inquiries.

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