Woman's grief over double murder

EXCLUSIVEBy Ted JeoryA WOMAN whose sister and nephew were killed in a house fire has spoken for the first time about how she cannot grieve until their murderer has been brought to justice.

EXCLUSIVE

By Ted Jeory

A WOMAN whose sister and nephew were killed in a house fire has spoken for the first time about how she cannot grieve until their murderer has been brought to justice.

Kathleen Trigg said she was still putting her life back together more than five years after the arson attack in Clacton that claimed the lives of her elder sister, Jean, 26, and five-year-old nephew, Anthony.


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Ms Trigg suffered depression for a year after the blaze at the house in Church Crescent in July 1998 and lost friends because they did not know how to approach her grief.

She added for more than a year she had been too afraid to sit in her front room for fear of glimpsing the fire scene, just yards away and across the road from her former house in Carnarvon Road.

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Since then, Ms Trigg has moved to another home in the Tendring area, but is still reluctant to identify herself and reveal her past to her new friends.

“I don't want people's pity,” the 29-year-old mother-of-two said yesterday. “I've been trying to make a new start, but I'm still haunted by what happened.

“I can't grieve until my sister and nephew rest in peace and someone is made to answer for their deaths.”

Ms Trigg was born in Manchester and grew up in north London with her parents - Les and Kath - her brother Mark, now 31, and sister Jean.

The family left Camden and moved to St Osyth at the end of the 1980s, but a couple of years later everyone apart from Ms Trigg, a former Clacton County High School pupil, went to live in Bolton.

But in about 1993 her brother Mark returned to Essex to live with his girlfriend, Christina Wroe, first in Frinton and then about a year later in Church Crescent, but they later split up.

In mid-1998, Jean - with her son, Anthony, and five-month-old baby, Callum - decided to try to build a new life for them in Clacton and they went to stay with Ms Wroe and her four children in Church Crescent house while they looked for a place of their own.

However, the house was set on fire during the night of July 27. Everyone in the house survived the arson attack, except Jean and her son Anthony.

Ms Trigg said: “I only found out in the morning. Someone told me they'd heard on the radio there'd been a fire in Church Crescent.

“I put the phone down straight away and panicked and ran to the house, thinking 'Please don't let it be my sister and nephews'.

“I got there and couldn't believe it - there were police everywhere. I was ushered into a police car and taken to the station, where they told me to phone my mum and say what had happened.

“I was devastated. The last time I'd seen Jean, she was sitting in the front room of the house with everyone, all laughing and joking. I'm numb even now thinking about it.”

She added:

A murder investigation was launched in 1998 and a teenager was arrested during the course of the inquiry, but was later released without charge.

An inquest into the two deaths - which recorded verdicts of unlawful killing - heard the blaze had most likely been started inside the house using petrol.

n A 22-year-old former Clacton resident was arrested in Bristol on Thursday on suspicion of murder in connection with the arson attack.

He was released on police bail the following day while detectives continue their investigation.

ted.jeory@eadt.co.uk

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