Essex

Colchester flat fire death: Woman charged with murder

Burnt out house
Image caption The cause of the fire in Rochdale Way, Colchester, has yet to be established

A woman has been charged with murdering a pensioner who was trapped in a fire at his flat.

Fred Payne, 78, died after breathing in smoke during the blaze at the property in Rochdale Way, Colchester, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Essex Police said Lisa Connelly, 42, of Rochdale Way, had been charged with murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

A 45-year-old man arrested on Monday has been released on bail.

Ms Connelly is due to appear at Colchester Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

Detectives said they had not yet managed to trace any members of Mr Payne's family, and believe he may have relatives living in Essex.

Det Ch Insp Stephen Jennings, who is leading the investigation, urged any family members to get in touch with his team "as soon as possible".

Image caption The cause of the fire is yet to be established

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