Then, his mother’s house was set ablaze by rival gangs but Sam was not in the house at the time. Sam’s mother Sophie, 49, his19-year-old sister Sarah, and his 7-year-old brother were in the house during the arson attack. His mother and sister escaped the inferno by smashing an upstairs window and jumping out. But Joel was unable to escape the flames
Witnesses told how a grief-stricken Sam was heard screaming “it should have been me” as he visited his family in hospital after the blaze. A family member also said that Sam’s mother blames her eldest son for the death of his brother. It was claimed that the boys’ mum confronted her son in emotional scenes in the hospital barely 24 hours after the fire had claimed his little brother’s life.
A cousin of Joel’s dad John, who did not want to give her name, told The Sun Online: “The mum blamed him. She told him straight away in the hospital ‘you have killed Joel’.”
Confirming she suspects Sam was the intended target of the arson attack, Joel’s aunt Ruth Urhie, 64, said: “Sam has just come out of jail and they came there to stab him. He’s the one they are looking for and they take the life of this young boy.”
Detectives are investigating the possibility that the arsonists were targeting Sam when they torched the family home in Deptford, south-east London