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Three men arrested over arson murder that killed seven-year-old boy

THREE men have been arrested for the arson attack that killed a seven-year-old boy in south east London.

Little Joel Urhie, who lived with his mum and older sister, was trapped inside the flaming house in Deptford in 2018.

His body was found inside the gutted house following what was described as a deliberate attack in the early hours of August 7, 2018.

Joel’s mother Iroroefe Urhie, 49, and 20-year-old sister, Sarah, managed to escape by jumping from first floor windows.

His mum, who spent a month in hospital recovering from injuries she suffered escaping the blaze, described Joel as “the sweetest most caring little boy you could ever meet”.

His sister Sarah shared sweet videos of her with the seven-year-old, writing: “Rest in perfect peace my amazing little brother Joel , nothing makes sense right now, I love you.”

Around the time of the fire, family and friends said gangsters were targeting Joel’s older brother, convicted drug dealer Samuel, when the house was torched.

Detectives investigating the alleged arson on Friday said three men aged 24, 21 and 22 were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder between last Wednesday and Saturday.

All three suspects have been released under investigation pending further enquiries, police said.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Wrigley leading the investigation appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

He said: “Despite the passing of two years, this remains a very open and active investigation.

“I remain very keen to hear from anyone who may have information that could assist my team.

“The loss of such a young and innocent life is always tragic, but the pain of losing a child under these circumstances is immeasurable.

“There are people out there who know exactly what went on and who is responsible for Joel’s death. I need them to do the right thing and get in touch.”

“I am appealing directly to anyone with information who didn’t feel able to come forward at the time of the incident to do so now. If you want to remain anonymous that’s fine, but please do come forward.”

Joel’s dad John, 54, who didn’t live at the south east London home, previously told the Sun Online: “He was a very lovely boy. It’s a terrible loss. The pain we cannot forget.

“When I came at 4am in the morning, the first thing I saw was my daughter inside the ambulance.

“They said, ‘Joel’s dead’, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

He added: “Joel used to play football. He was doing very well with it.

“He used to play with all the kids around here. He was very intelligent. It’s a painful situation.”

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