Horror as OAP killed by firework after teenager was dared to put it through her letterbox | The Sun

AN OAP has been killed by a firework after a teenager was dared to put it through her letterbox.

Josephine Smith, 88, was asleep in her bed when the explosive was posted through her door.

The firework let off two explosions which set her house ablaze back in October 2021.

Today, Kai Cooper, 19, was found guilty of her manslaughter after he dared a friend to stuff the lit Megaburst firework into the property.

He was also found guilty of arson with recklessness.

Prosecutor Heidi Stonecliffe KC told how Cooper visited a firework shop in Romford, east London, earlier on in the evening.


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The court heard how Cooper told the shopkeeper: "I want something that is going to go far and quick."

He went on to tell his girlfriend, who was outside the store: "Hey babes, come here. I'm trying to get fireworks, let them off at people.

"People are going to get terrorised tonight."

The teenager, who didn't know the pensioner, also bought two lighters from a nearby Co-op.

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Cooper and a 17-year-old friend, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, then set off some fireworks in the street before heading towards Josephine's home.

Ms Stonecliffe said: "It is a tragically random incident.

"That makes it no less serious or tragic.

"They acted as a team as they did this, with Kai handing the 17-year-old the fireworks before they were lit and Kai encouraging the 17-year-oldto do this.

"It was, it is suggested, the precursor for the altogether more tragic events that occurred shortly afterwards.

"Two explosions occurred in swift succession, just like others that (the defendants) had set off in the street.

"They caused a fire to start, which burned through Mrs Smith's house.

"By the time the fire service had arrived, the property had filled with smoke and Mrs Smith was found, already sadly deceased, in the upstairs bedroom of the house.

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"Efforts made to revive her were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at 11.09pm."

Cooper, from Leatherhead, Surrey, was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date at the Old Bailey.

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