Man charged with arson attack on care home

Detectives investigating a care home blaze allegedly sparked by a firework that left a vulnerable woman in a critical condition have charged a man with arson.

The residential centre was deliberately targeted by a gang firing rockets at homes in the Barking area of East London, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Sabbir Ahmed, 22, of Doveton Street, Bethnal Green, was charged with arson with intent to endanger life and a second charge of recklessness with intent to endanger life.

He will appear in custody at Barkingside Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Ahmed was one of three suspects arrested in connection with the fire that took hold at the care home in Beccles Drive shortly after 1 am on Friday, November 13.

Paramedics called the police and fire brigade to the home where several vulnerable people were housed. Most escaped without serious injury, although 43-year-old Donna Stringer, a wheelchair user with learning difficulties, suffered life-threatening injuries. She was rushed to hospital where she remains in a critical condition, according to police.

As a result of the blaze and damage to their accommodation seven other residents from the property needed rehousing.

Detective Sergeant Karl Dines, from Barking and Dagenham CID, appealed for witnesses to the alleged arson attack to come forward.

He said at the time: "This was a deliberate act where fireworks were thrown at a number of homes.

"This is a deeply upsetting incident involving an innocent and helpless victim who has severe learning difficulties."

Her "loving family" had been left "devastated", he added.

Two men, aged 21 and 22, have been released on bail to return on a date in late January 2016.

Anyone who has information is asked to contact Barking and Dagenham CID on 020 3276 1096 or via 101. Witnesses can also email information to or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.