Kai Cooper Wiki – Bio
Kai Cooper, a teenager who dared his friend to stuff lit Megaburst fireworks into the letterbox of an east London home, killing the elderly occupant, has been found guilty of manslaughter.
Josephine Smith, 88, was believed to be asleep in bed when fireworks set off two successive explosions and torched her home on October 28, 2021 in a “tragically random incident.”
Kai Cooper visited a fireworks shop accompanied by a 17-year-old boy, intending to buy fireworks “to set off on people”, Mrs Smith being “a total stranger” to the couple.
Kai Cooper Age
Kai Cooper is 19 years old.
Josephine Smith died of smoke inhalation
Earlier today, 19-year-old Kai Cooper was found guilty of manslaughter and reckless arson as to whether life was endangered. Prosecutor Heidi Stonecliffe KC recounted how Cooper was accompanied by a younger boy, now 17, when he visited a fireworks shop in Romford, east London, the same night. Cooper told the grocer, ‘I want something that goes far and fast.’
He went on to say to his girlfriend outside of him: ‘Hey girls, come here. I’m trying to get fireworks, leave them to the people. People are going to be terrified tonight. After buying the fireworks, Cooper also bought two lighters from a cooperative store, jurors heard. He and his 17-year-old friend walked to Ms Smith’s house on Queens Park Road, where she lived alone. The prosecutor said: ‘This is a tragically random incident. That doesn’t make it any less serious or tragic.
Before arriving at Ms Smith’s home, the two young men set off some of the fireworks in the street, next to a restaurant and pub, near cars and even towards startled pedestrians, the jury was told. Ms Stonecliffe said: “They acted like a team while doing this, with Kai handing [the 17-year-old] the fireworks before they went off and Kai encouraging [the 17-year-old] to do this.”
“It was, it is suggested, the precursor to the much more tragic events that occurred soon after.” The 17-year-old grabbed a Megaburst firework and ran across the street to Ms. Smith’s home, where she was in bed and likely asleep, the court heard.
He then lit the fireworks and put them through the mailbox, the jury was told. Ms Stonecliffe continued: ‘Two explosions occurred in quick succession, as did others that (the defendants) had gone off in the street. They caused a fire to start, which ripped through Mrs Smith’s house. “By the time the fire service arrived, the property had filled with smoke and Mrs. Smith, now sadly deceased, was found in the upstairs bedroom of the house. “Efforts to revive her were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at 11:09 p.m.” Cooper and the young man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had left the scene long before.
The prosecutor said there was no dispute that Cooper and the other youth purchased fireworks and lighters that night, all paid for by Cooper, or that one of them was put through Ms. Smith’s door. The only issue for the jury to consider is whether Cooper participated in the crimes by encouraging and assisting the younger defendant, he said.
According to a statement from Cooper’s girlfriend, the 19-year-old had been laughing as his younger friend ran across the street to Mrs. Smith’s house. Ms Stonecliffe said: “In her opinion, [the 17-year-old] wouldn’t have put the fireworks through the door if Kai hadn’t suggested it.”
Cooper, from Leatherhead, Surrey, has been taken into custody and will be sentenced at a later date at the Old Bailey. Detective Chief Inspector Linda Bradley, of the Met’s Crime Command, said: “This was a heartbreaking case about the needless death of an innocent woman, Josephine Smith, in her own home.”
“The thoughtlessness of the actions that unfolded that night are incomprehensible and tragically resulted in the most devastating consequences. “Ms. Smith’s family continues to struggle to come to terms with the loss of her and our thoughts remain with them, especially today.”
Mrs Smith’s son, Alan Smith, said: “Losing mum in such a horrible way has haunted our whole family.” Mom was well loved by all of us and she had many more happy years ahead of her. ‘Seeing justice done today can help us start moving very slowly.
‘The issue of selling fireworks to the public is a fight we intend to continue. Also, the irresponsible way those fireworks were sold that night haunts all of us who have seen the footage.” Cooper, of Leatherhead, Surrey, he will leave custody and will be sentenced at a later date at the Old Bailey.
Read More: Darren Coathup Wiki, Biography, Age, Family, Arrested, Investigation Report