Two bailed over murder of Joe, 7, in 1997 Huddersfield arson attack

TWO people arrested over the death of a boy in an arson attack in Huddersfield 18 years ago have been released on bail, police said.

Joe McCafferty.

The arrests came yesterday, days after a new appeal to find the killers of seven year-old Joe McCafferty, who was at his aunt’s house in Haywood Avenue in Marsh, 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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A 65-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman, both from the Huddersfield area, were arrested on suspicion of murder.

Police today appealed again for anyone with information which could help the investigation to come forward.

Det Chief Inspector Elizabeth Belton said: “Both the team investigating this murder and Joe’s mother Tracey firmly believe that information is held locally within the Marsh area of Huddersfield that could be key to this investigation. While we have made a couple of arrests, we still need people to come forward. Joe’s family have suffered with the consequences of his death for the last 18 years and we want to solve this case and get them the closure they need.”

Last week, Joe’s mother Tracey said in a statement issued through police: “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.”

Anyone with information is asked to call West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.