Tragic blaze mum was ‘assaulted’

Gemma Stevens with her three children Chloe, aged 15, Olivia, aged eight and Cael, aged five.
Gemma Stevens with her three children Chloe, aged 15, Olivia, aged eight and Cael, aged five.

An inquest into the death of mother-of-three, Gemma Stevens, was opened at Chesterfield Coroners’ Court today.

Gemma, 32, of Catherine Street, Brampton, was found dead at her home by firefighters in the early hours of March 3.

They had been called to reports of a house fire but, in a search of the property conducted after the fire had been extinguished, found Gemma’s body.

DC Brian Millard from the East Midlands Major Crime Unit told the court that Gemma was found by firefighters at 2.10am and pronounced dead at the scene.

He said she was found lying on the sofa in the living room with burn injuries as well as injuries consistent with having been assaulted.

He added that she had been identified by her fingerprints and that a post-mortem had been completed but gave no more details.

In the days since, two men have been charged with crimes in relation to Gemma’s death.

One man, Gary Tyson, 35, of Shirland Street, Chesterfield, has been charged with murder, arson and attempted wounding.

Another, Jamie Bray, 26, of Kingsclere Walk, Chesterfield, has been charged with committing arson and assisting an offender.

Detective Millard confirmed that no other people were being sought in relation to the incident and made no further appeal for information from the public.

Assistant Coroner James Newman said that normal procedure at inquest openings was to set a date for a full inquest to take place.

However, in light of the ongoing police investigations and possibility of a criminal trial, he set a date of September 3 for a review of the case.

Since their mother’s death, Gemma’s three children, Chloe, aged 15, Olivia, aged eight and five-year-old Cael are now being cared for by Gemma’s mum Janet and other family members.

Her two youngest children have now been left orphaned after tragically losing their father four years ago.

A family friend, Lisa Austin, of Sudbury Close, has launched a fundraising drive to pay for funeral costs.

To make a donation visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Gemma-Stevens.