‘Extremely cowardly’ firework attack leaves vulnerable Barking woman struggling for life

Donna Stringer before the attack

Donna Stringer before the attack - Credit: Archant

The hunt is still on for those responsible after a care home was set alight with fireworks and a woman with severe learning difficulties nearly killed.

A rocket was launched from a car in the early hours of Friday morning on November 13 into the residential care home on Beccles Drive, Barking and led to a fire.

Wheelchair-user Donna Stringer, 43, was later taken to hospital and remains in critical condition with her family by her bedside.

Seven other residents from the property had to be housed in alternative accommodation because of damage caused by the fire but there were no other reported injuries.

Police are particularly keen to speak with anyone who saw an unknown number of people setting off fireworks in the vicinity at the time.

Donna Stringer, who is in critical condition after a firework set her Barking care home alight

Donna Stringer, who is in critical condition after a firework set her Barking care home alight - Credit: Archant

The suspects are believed to have targeted a number of homes in the area over the course of the night.

Detective Sergeant Karl Dines, from Barking and Dagenham CID, said: “As you will see in the footage that we have released today, this was a deliberate act where fireworks were thrown at a number of homes.

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“This is a deeply upsetting incident involving an innocent and helpless victim who has severe learning difficulties.

“Donna is fighting for her life in hospital; medical staff are working tirelessly around the clock to keep her condition stable in the hope that she will recover.

“The fire has caused significant damage to the care home and devastated Donna’s loving family.”

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council Darren Rodwell also condemned the attack and beseeched residents to come forward.

“This was an extremely cowardly act on some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” he said. “It was not just an attack on them but an attack on our whole community.

“This kind of behaviour is not welcome in our borough and I am appealing to anyone with information to please contact the police.”

Enquiries continue. No arrests have been made.

Anyone who has information concerning the fire or the events leading up to the fire is asked to contact Barking and Dagenham CID on 020 3276 1096 or via 101. Witnesses can also email information to LBBDAppeal@met.pnn.police.uk. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.