Mother’s plea to catch arsonist who killed her boy

THE mother of a boy who died after an arson attack has made a fresh appeal for information to catch the killer on the 18th anniversary of his death.

Joe McCafferty.

Tracey McCafferty’s son Joe was at his aunt’s house in Haywood Avenue in Marsh, Hudddersfield when liquid was put through the letterbox and set alight in the early hours of May 3 1997.

Joe’s aunt, two cousins and older brother Nicky were also in the house. Joe later died at hospital.

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Ms McCafferty said: “Not having answers, not knowing why; it’s there daily. Asking myself the same questions every day about who could have done this. Someone knows who’s done it most definitely in this town and I do believe people local talk about it. I feel sometimes like I live in a goldfish bowl and it’s not nice.

“It would mean the world. Just to put it to bed, to put it to rest.

“Not just for me but for my son. My son suffers in silence. I have to fight for him too because he is still alive and he carries the scars. Just for peace of mind of knowing that whoever has done this has been caught.

“To be able to go to bed knowing that someone has been caught for it, to be able to get up in morning and not be waiting. The waiting around year on year is doing my head in basically. It’s not fair that I don’t know after 18 years who has killed my son. I want the community to tell me if they hear anything.

“It might only be the smallest thing but I need to know who has killed my son, for me, for my family, but more so for Nicky, his dad and his brothers and sisters.”

Det Chief Insp Elizabeth Belton said: “This is a crime that shocked a community to the core but despite numerous appeals for information, no-one has ever been convicted of this offence.

“Eighteen years is a long time. It is a long time for a family desperately wanting answers. But it is also a long time for someone to live with the guilt of killing a boy with his whole life ahead of him.

“At the time or over the years, Joe’s killer may have made disclosures to someone close to them. They may also have noticeably changed personality around the time of Joe’s death and reacted strangely to conversations about the fire.

“It might be that someone has withheld information over the years, either thinking it unimportant or out of a sense of loyalty to someone.

“We want to close this case and provide the answers to Joe’s family that they so desperately desire.”

Call the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on 101.