Plea to catch killer 10 years on

A FAMILY of a mother and son killed in an arson attack on their home in Essex have appealed directly to the killer to give himself up.

James Hore

A FAMILY of a mother and son killed in an arson attack on their home in Essex have appealed directly to the killer to give himself up.

Les and Kathleen Trigg's daughter, Jean, 27, and her son, Anthony, five, both died after fire in the early hours on July 27, 1998 in Clacton.

Despite several arrests in the decade that followed, no one has ever been charged with the killings, although the case remains under review.


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Essex Police are backing the couple's new appeal, saying they believe family or friends of the person responsible may now break their silence and provide the information needed to help secure a conviction.

Mr and Mrs Trigg, who live in Bolton, said yesterday that despite a decade passing, they were still hopeful the killer or killers could be brought to justice.

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At a press conference at Clacton police station to mark the 10th anniversary they said they would not be able to grieve properly until someone was behind bars.

And the couple, who live in Bolton, revealed they still do not know the motive for the attack on the house on Church Crescent, saying it remained the “fifty million dollar question”.

They were wearing special tops featuring a picture of Anthony and a message appealing for help to catch the killer.

Miss Trigg and her sons, Anthony and Callum, moved to Clacton from the north-west just weeks before the attack on the house where they were living with friends.

There were eight people in the property at the time of the attack, with six managing to quickly escape, but Miss Trigg and Anthony were overcome by fumes and died later.

Jean's baby son, Callum, suffered smoke inhalation but survived and now lives with family members.

An inquest, which recorded a verdict of unlawful killing, heard the fire had been started by someone using petrol.

And forensic evidence indicated an occupant started the fire in the hallway, but police said yesterday they were not ruling out the possibility of the arsonist entering the building.

Former London Underground worker Mr Trigg, 66, sat alongside his wife, 60, and said: “Give yourself up - walk into any police station and give yourself up or if not, ring Crimestoppers and Essex Police will talk with you.

“The 50-million dollar question is why set fire to the house? We are still in the dark as to the reason why.

“We come back to Clacton twice a year for a meeting with the police - it is always hard, especially today as I had to park the car in Church Road at the back of the house where Anthony died.”

Kevin Macey, head of the major crime review team at Essex Police, said he believed the killer's guilt must have led to a confession to a family member at some point.

He said: “Can someone keep a secret like that for 10 years without telling a soul? I think not.

“And as the tenth anniversary of the murders approaches I would hope that anyone who knows who killed Jean and Anthony will come forward and tell us.”

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Essex Police's major investigation team on 01206 762122 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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