Saturday 24 February 2018

Man admits killing pregnant woman in tower block fire

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

Emily Pennink

A man has pleaded guilty to killing a pregnant woman in a tower block fire.

Khabi Abrey, 30, died in hospital two days after a blaze ripped through her block of flats in Balmoral Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, at around 11.15pm on Saturday May 7.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of Mrs Abrey's death as complication arising from the inhalation of fire fumes. Her unborn baby died after suffering a cardiac arrest caused by the inhalation.

Lillo Troisi, 48, appeared before the Old Bailey on Tuesday charged with murder and arson.

The unemployed defendant, who lived in the same block, pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter and arson.

Mrs Abrey's husband sat in court as Troisi, dressed in a black fleece, admitted setting the fire in the hallway of the ninth floor of the council-owned building.

Prosecutor Simon Spence QC said the victim's husband had been told about the decision of the Crown to accept the plea and ask for the remaining charges against Troisi to lie on file.

Mrs Justice McGowan agreed with the decision and remanded the defendant in custody to be sentenced later this month.

A psychiatric report will be made for the prosecution to be considered alongside a report on Troisi's mental state already prepared for the defence.

The judge told the defendant: "At some stage, you will be sentenced but I need to know, both for your sake and the protection of the public, most importantly, whether you need to be in a hospital or whether you will be in prison."

Press Association

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