A MUM whose seven-year-old child died in an arson attack has begged for help to find her son’s killers four years on.

Iroroefe O Edu lamented how “the perpetrators of this atrocity and dastardly crime have not been unearthed”.


Her son Joel Uhrie died in August 2018 when a fire ripped through the house where he lived with his mum and sister, 19, in Deptford, South East London. 

Joel, who would have started secondary school next month, was found dead in the upstairs bedroom, but Miss Edu and his 19-year-old sister escaped by jumping out of a first-floor window.

The plan was for Miss Edu to cushion his fall, but the youngster never followed.

In a statement issued via the Metropolitan Police, she said: "It will be four years on August 7 2022 since Joel died due to the fire thrown in the house.

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"Up until now, the perpetrators of this atrocity and dastardly crime have not been unearthed.

"If you have any information or know anything, or anyone, who may be responsible for causing the fire, can you come forward please?

"With you coming forward, it will prevent the person/persons responsible from doing the same thing to another family.

"Joel was in his own house that is supposed to be a safe environment for him, when the fire incident that claimed his life happened.

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"He was only seven years old."

Police suspect the attack was related to gang membership but cannot be sure. 

We told at the time how older brother Sam, 21, survived an attempted stabbing at the house just weeks before.

Relatives suspected gang rivals of Sam were responsible.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Rogers said Joel's death was "definitely collateral damage," adding he was a "totally innocent little boy in his own home in his own bedroom".

Mr Rogers, from the Met's specialist crime unit, said: "This Sunday marks four years since a young boy's life was tragically taken.

"Our thoughts are with Joel's family, and we will continue to provide them with the support they need.

"Joel and his family should have been planning for him to go to secondary school next month.

"They will not have the opportunity to do what many other families will be doing at such a defining moment in a child's life.

"Someone knows why this happened; I would ask that you search your conscience and do what is right."

A year after the attack two men were arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

Both were released with no further action.

Two years later in August 2020, three further men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

They were released under investigation.

Detectives believe that the amount of time since the attack means witnesses are more likely to speak up.

Mr Rogers said: "This is the time of year when Joel would have been going to senior school.

"The family would have been looking to get new uniforms.

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"Hopefully people can reflect and look at their own lives now, look at how their lives have changed over four years and take action."

Anyone with information is asked to call the dedicated incident room on 020 8345 3715, 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.



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