Arsonists who set fire to house, killing woman in Woolwich found guilty of murder


Two men who set light to a front door in a drug dealers’ row have been found guilty of murdering a visitor who was trapped in the blazing house – and two people had to jump from the first floor to survive.

Memunatu Warne, 46, was staying at her cousin’s home at Centurion Square in Woolwich’s Berber Parade while visiting from Sierra Leone, and was killed in the flames that swept through the building on September 6, 2018.

She had been due to fly home that day.

The fire was so bad that Mrs Warne’s cousins, a man in his 60s and woman in her 50s, suffered serious injuries jumping from the upstairs window to escape the fire after their attempts to rescue her were met with thick smoke.

William Smith, 26, known as Billy, and Elliott Robinson, 22, were both found guilty of murder and arson.

The Old Bailey heard on July 2 how the fire had been started by someone who had been driven to Centurion Square as the pillion passenger on a motorbike.

Witnesses said they saw the suspect get back on the motorbike before it sped out of the square.

Detectives soon discovered that the fire was probably organised by Smith because of a drugs dispute with a family member of Mrs Warne’s cousins.

Police said all of those caught up in the fire were completely innocent of any crime.

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