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Two face trial for murder after arson kills teenager and her gran

PUBLISHED: 09:13 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:06 05 October 2010

Devastation at Malmesbury House and (inset) Shannen and Pauline who died in blaze

Devastation at Malmesbury House and (inset) Shannen and Pauline who died in blaze

TWO youths have been charged this morning (Wednesday) with murder following Sunday’s arson in a tower block in London’s East End in which a teenage girl and her gran died. They are 19-year-old Jake Sheehan from Bethnal and 18-year-old David Philip from Bow, who appear in custody at Havering Magistrates’ court in Romford at 10am

PICTURES: Joe Lord and Mark Blunden

By Else Kvist and Mike Brooke

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TWO youths have been committed to the Old Bailey on double murder charges following Sunday’s arson in London’s East End in which a teenage girl and her gran died.

They are charged with the murders of 17-year-old Shannen Vickers and her 57-year-old grandmother Pauline Adams at their fifth floor flat at Malmesbury House in Cyprus Street, Bethnal Green, at 5.45am.

The youths, 19-year-old Jake Sheehan from Ames House on Bethnal Green’s Cranbrook Estate, and 18-year-old David Philip from Grindley House in Leopold Street, Bow, only spoke to confirm their names and addresses during a 30-minute hearing at Havering Magistrates’ court in Romford this morning.

No bail application was made and magistrate Irene Byard remanded them in custody for a case management and plea hearing at the Old Bailey on April 15.

Prosecutor Adebayo Kareen told today’s hearing: “This is a case of double murder—they are charged with the murders of Pauline Adams and her granddaughter Shannen Vickers.”

DEAD FROM SMOKE

Pauline and Shannen were found dead from toxic smoke in the back bedroom when firefighters got into the fifth-floor flat. A post-mortem later confirmed they died from inhaling smoke.

Shannen had just returned to the flat after being out celebrating a friend’s 18th birthday and had called her mum Nicola Vickers to say she was home safe—minutes before the fire.

Nicola, 35, Pauline’s daughter, told the East London Advertiser: “Shannen would have only just got home when the fire happened. She phoned to say she was home safely.

“The last thing my daughter told me on the phone was that she loves me.”

Nicola added: “My mum was a typical East End woman, always there for people.”

WITNESS APPEAL

An emergency crew from Bethnal Green fire-station just two minutes from Malmesbury House was tackling another blaze that night, which destroyed a motor-scooter parked in a street nearby, and was unable to answer the 999 call. Crews from other fire-stations across East London were sent to Malmesbury House before they could turn up. Detectives have linked the two incidents.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have been in or near Cyprus Street between 5.30 and 6am on Sunday, or anyone with information, to call 020-8345 1585, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.

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