Man may have started fire that killed his stepdaughter - inquest in Wakefield heard

Isobel Dobson
Isobel Dobson

A man may have deliberately started a fire that killed his two-year-old stepdaughter - an inquest was told.

Isobel June Dobson died at Hessle Common Lane Farm, in Wragby, on September 30, 2011.

She was sat in a child seat in a van with her younger sister, Sarah, then aged one, when the blaze broke out.

Her stepdad, Terry Webb, saved Sarah but was unable to reach Isobel and she died from the effects of smoke and fire.

Giving evidence at this morning hearing Isobel’s mother, Stacey Marie Catch, said she had been at the farm with her daughters and partner Mr Webb to see to their horses when the fire broke out.

Coroner David Hincliff said: “There is a belief, Miss Catch, that Mr Webb probably didn’t want to harm the children, but he might have deliberately started the fire so that he could rescue them, and therefore in everybody’s eyes, he was a hero? What’s your view?”

Miss Catch replied that she thought it was “plausible” Mr Webb had done that.

Mr Webb was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder shortly after the incident but the charges were dropped in September 2012.

The hearing continues.