Schizophrenic teen kills nan, 89, in arson attack just hours after police visit

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A teenager has admitted manslaughter after killing his own grandmother in an arson attack on her home.

Chanatorn Croghan, 19, set the Norwich house alight just hours after the police had been called for an unrelated argument he had with his dad, a court heard.

The defendant, who is also known as Marco, had been staying with his grandmother when police were called to the address at around midnight on December 10 2020 following an argument between him and another man.

The initial call had been made as Croghan argued with a man and appeared violent. The police came to the scene and left as they said no offences had been committed and they had both calmed down.

Croghan stayed at his grandmother's house and the man left without his knowledge.

However, at 6:30am the next day, 11 December 2020, smoke was seen coming from the Norwich house which caused a member of the public to call the fire brigade.

Fire crews rushed to the house and entered to find Vera Croghan, 89, dead in an upstairs bedroom.

She was a retired East Anglia University lecturer specialising in Swedish.

Ms Croghan was pronounced dead at the scene and a Home Office post-mortem examination recorded that she died from smoke inhalation.

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No-one else was inside the address at the time, police said.

Her grandson returned to the address at around 3.30pm on December 11 and was arrested after suspicion that he started the fire.

Also known as Marco, Croghan suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and was detained under the Mental Health Act.

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On Thursday (February 17) he admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility and arson at Norwich crown court.

He will be sentenced on April 14.

In a tribute released through police at the time of her death, Ms Croghan's family described her as a "much-loved mum of four and grandmother of 10”.

  • Family
  • Fire
  • Crime

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