Eastbourne murder investigation: Two men arrested in connection with tragic arson attack

Detectives have arrested one man in Sussex, a second in Kent, and have interviewed a third man in Portugal in connection with a double fatal house fire in Eastbourne.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 9:46 am
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 1:23 pm
Gina, Milo and Toby

Officers said they made the arrests as part of a week of action relating to the Operation Druffield murder investigation.

The investigation relates to an arson attack at a property in Croxden Way on 10 July 2018, which claimed the lives of Gina Ingles, 34, and her son Milo Ingles-Bailey, four.

Gina’s partner Toby Jarrett, 27, was also in the house at the time of the fire, but managed to escape through a first floor window. He suffered serious burn injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment, said police.

On December 10, as part of the ongoing investigation into the incident, detectives arrested a 41-year-old man from Hastings on suspicion of murder, and a 27-year-old man from Eastbourne on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. Both were interviewed and subsequently released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Detectives from the Major Crime Team also travelled to Portugal during the week and, with the assistance of the Portuguese authorities, interviewed a further suspect who is already in prison in Portugal for an unrelated offence, said police.

Detective Inspector Gordon Denslow said, “The Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team continues to pursue those responsible for this horrific crime, and will do so relentlessly on behalf of Gina and Milo’s family, who continue to grieve for the loss of their daughter and grandson.

“This is a significant development in this investigation. In addition to these arrests, we have also interviewed a number of other people who we think may know something about what happened on that tragic day in July 2018, and they are helping us with our enquiries. We are working closely with the Portuguese authorities, and will release further information when we are able to.

Fatal house fire in Croxden Way, Eastbourne SUS-180718-135841001

“I’d like to thank the community for their continued support, and encourage anyone with any information at all to please come forward. Help us find out who is responsible for the death of a vulnerable four-year-old boy and his young mother.”

Two local men, aged 47 and 23, were previously arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder and one of attempted murder – the 23-year-old remains released under investigation pending further enquiries; the 47-year-old was released without charge and will face no further action.

Anyone with any information is urged to report it online or call 101, quoting Operation Druffield. You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it