Police believe Cathy Mhlaba from Shoebury killed son Beki Ali in car blaze

Echo: Beki Ali Beki Ali

A POST-MORTEM has revealed the victims of a car fire in Thorpe Bay burned alive following confirmation by police it was the result of a murder-suicide.

Post-mortem examinations were conducted on the remains of Catherine Mhlaba, 45, and her 16-year-old son Bekithemba ‘Beki’ Ali, of Blyth Avenue, Shoebury, today. Their bodies were found in a burnt out Vauxhall Vectra on Thorpe Bay Esplanade on Tuesday evening.

The forensic pathologist recorded the preliminary cause of death as burning and inhalation through combustion and the bodies were formally identified. 

Southend police district commander Insp Matt Bennett said he would not reveal details of the investigation out of respect for the family, but confirmed all the evidence pointed to the suggestion Ms Mhlaba, 45, of Blyth Avenue, Shoebury, had started the blaze.

Insp Bennett said: "A murder-suicide is where all the facts are pointing.

"That's the conclusion the senior investigative officer has come to and it is supported by her peers. There is no credible theory to the contrary."

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Superintendent Tracy Hawking, of Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Catherine and Beki  at this sad and difficult time. I can confirm I am satisfied there are no other persons involved in the deaths of Catherine and Beki and a file will be prepared for Her Majesty's Coroner.”

An inquest into the deaths of Catherine and Beki is due to be opened on Monday. Tributes to Ms Mhlaba and Beki are in Today's Echo.

 

Comments (12)

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5:28pm Fri 6 Dec 13

whataday says...

RiP to both of them
Who knows what was happening in their lives
RiP to both of them Who knows what was happening in their lives whataday

5:48pm Fri 6 Dec 13

Howard Cháse says...

A sad set of circumstances and a tragic outcome.

Condolences to their family and friends at this difficult times
A sad set of circumstances and a tragic outcome. Condolences to their family and friends at this difficult times Howard Cháse

7:00pm Fri 6 Dec 13

a-local-girl says...

she must have been in a really dark place, no one will ever know what was going through her mind... do they ?
she must have been in a really dark place, no one will ever know what was going through her mind... do they ? a-local-girl

7:08pm Fri 6 Dec 13

max zorin says...

R.I.P. to them both. some of the commenters really do need to learn some respect.
R.I.P. to them both. some of the commenters really do need to learn some respect. max zorin

9:49pm Fri 6 Dec 13

kellyatkins1976 says...

Fcuk Da Police wrote:
whataday wrote:
RiP to both of them
Who knows what was happening in their lives
Maybe your correct. But there's plenty of help out there to get things sorted. You don't go murdering your own son and then setting the car ablaze so it's a rolling fireball putting other innocent lives at risk.
Theres not as much help out there as you think, i have been begging for help with my daughters special needs for the past ten years and sadly it took an incident that she was involved in for anyone to get us the help we needed. That poor woman must have been at the end of everything with no way up to do any that drastic ... may she and her son rest in peace now they are free from whatever wrongs where in their world, who are we to judge ... she must have done what she thought was for the best x
[quote][p][bold]Fcuk Da Police[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]whataday[/bold] wrote: RiP to both of them Who knows what was happening in their lives[/p][/quote]Maybe your correct. But there's plenty of help out there to get things sorted. You don't go murdering your own son and then setting the car ablaze so it's a rolling fireball putting other innocent lives at risk.[/p][/quote]Theres not as much help out there as you think, i have been begging for help with my daughters special needs for the past ten years and sadly it took an incident that she was involved in for anyone to get us the help we needed. That poor woman must have been at the end of everything with no way up to do any that drastic ... may she and her son rest in peace now they are free from whatever wrongs where in their world, who are we to judge ... she must have done what she thought was for the best x kellyatkins1976

11:18am Sat 7 Dec 13

Jennyann1 says...

I have an autistic son who's ten, he's quiet challenging at times and finds going out of the house to different or new places difficult. Luckily for him and me he has several older siblings and his dad is very good at managing him. I also have direct payments from social services so as a family we have some respite.
However it took a real tragedy for us to get that support , I became seriously ill with depression and had a breakdown. We had been asking for support from social service for many months prior to that and didn't get any. I've been told by other parents that it is nigh on impossible to get direct payments for respite now whatever the circumstances !!! Parents with seriously disabled children do not get the support they need!!!
These children attend special needs schools usually and this is a hidden problem... I have heard of parents, usually single mothers who become so isolated and depressed they loose all hope.
If your autistic child who has the body of a man, but the emotional age of a four year old the violence and tantrums are directed towards their own mother it becomes intolerable.
People do not judge the parents.... Judge social services who just aren't there....
They would if they could perhaps... But it's another example of money being tight and cut backs.
So where is the big society'??? Where are the general public... What do you do when you see a child whose behaving oddly in the street... Please educate yourselves to help those families struggling... Your neighbour perhaps..get involved to help.
The stats are 1 in 100 children are on the autistic spectrum ...that's a lot of children and adults...remember autism is a life long disability .
Tragic !!!
I have an autistic son who's ten, he's quiet challenging at times and finds going out of the house to different or new places difficult. Luckily for him and me he has several older siblings and his dad is very good at managing him. I also have direct payments from social services so as a family we have some respite. However it took a real tragedy for us to get that support , I became seriously ill with depression and had a breakdown. We had been asking for support from social service for many months prior to that and didn't get any. I've been told by other parents that it is nigh on impossible to get direct payments for respite now whatever the circumstances !!! Parents with seriously disabled children do not get the support they need!!! These children attend special needs schools usually and this is a hidden problem... I have heard of parents, usually single mothers who become so isolated and depressed they loose all hope. If your autistic child who has the body of a man, but the emotional age of a four year old the violence and tantrums are directed towards their own mother it becomes intolerable. People do not judge the parents.... Judge social services who just aren't there.... They would if they could perhaps... But it's another example of money being tight and cut backs. So where is the big society'??? Where are the general public... What do you do when you see a child whose behaving oddly in the street... Please educate yourselves to help those families struggling... Your neighbour perhaps..get involved to help. The stats are 1 in 100 children are on the autistic spectrum ...that's a lot of children and adults...remember autism is a life long disability . Tragic !!! Jennyann1

1:39pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Shiwar says...

Jennyann1 wrote:
I have an autistic son who's ten, he's quiet challenging at times and finds going out of the house to different or new places difficult. Luckily for him and me he has several older siblings and his dad is very good at managing him. I also have direct payments from social services so as a family we have some respite.
However it took a real tragedy for us to get that support , I became seriously ill with depression and had a breakdown. We had been asking for support from social service for many months prior to that and didn't get any. I've been told by other parents that it is nigh on impossible to get direct payments for respite now whatever the circumstances !!! Parents with seriously disabled children do not get the support they need!!!
These children attend special needs schools usually and this is a hidden problem... I have heard of parents, usually single mothers who become so isolated and depressed they loose all hope.
If your autistic child who has the body of a man, but the emotional age of a four year old the violence and tantrums are directed towards their own mother it becomes intolerable.
People do not judge the parents.... Judge social services who just aren't there....
They would if they could perhaps... But it's another example of money being tight and cut backs.
So where is the big society'??? Where are the general public... What do you do when you see a child whose behaving oddly in the street... Please educate yourselves to help those families struggling... Your neighbour perhaps..get involved to help.
The stats are 1 in 100 children are on the autistic spectrum ...that's a lot of children and adults...remember autism is a life long disability .
Tragic !!!
Very brave of you to share your struggles with everybody....happy you now have the support your family deserve......
[quote][p][bold]Jennyann1[/bold] wrote: I have an autistic son who's ten, he's quiet challenging at times and finds going out of the house to different or new places difficult. Luckily for him and me he has several older siblings and his dad is very good at managing him. I also have direct payments from social services so as a family we have some respite. However it took a real tragedy for us to get that support , I became seriously ill with depression and had a breakdown. We had been asking for support from social service for many months prior to that and didn't get any. I've been told by other parents that it is nigh on impossible to get direct payments for respite now whatever the circumstances !!! Parents with seriously disabled children do not get the support they need!!! These children attend special needs schools usually and this is a hidden problem... I have heard of parents, usually single mothers who become so isolated and depressed they loose all hope. If your autistic child who has the body of a man, but the emotional age of a four year old the violence and tantrums are directed towards their own mother it becomes intolerable. People do not judge the parents.... Judge social services who just aren't there.... They would if they could perhaps... But it's another example of money being tight and cut backs. So where is the big society'??? Where are the general public... What do you do when you see a child whose behaving oddly in the street... Please educate yourselves to help those families struggling... Your neighbour perhaps..get involved to help. The stats are 1 in 100 children are on the autistic spectrum ...that's a lot of children and adults...remember autism is a life long disability . Tragic !!![/p][/quote]Very brave of you to share your struggles with everybody....happy you now have the support your family deserve...... Shiwar

6:07pm Sat 7 Dec 13

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

i cant believe that nobody was there for them in there hours of need.
i cant believe that nobody was there for them in there hours of need. CHRISTMAS CAROL

11:47pm Sat 7 Dec 13

heartbeat says...

Shiwar wrote:
Jennyann1 wrote:
I have an autistic son who's ten, he's quiet challenging at times and finds going out of the house to different or new places difficult. Luckily for him and me he has several older siblings and his dad is very good at managing him. I also have direct payments from social services so as a family we have some respite.
However it took a real tragedy for us to get that support , I became seriously ill with depression and had a breakdown. We had been asking for support from social service for many months prior to that and didn't get any. I've been told by other parents that it is nigh on impossible to get direct payments for respite now whatever the circumstances !!! Parents with seriously disabled children do not get the support they need!!!
These children attend special needs schools usually and this is a hidden problem... I have heard of parents, usually single mothers who become so isolated and depressed they loose all hope.
If your autistic child who has the body of a man, but the emotional age of a four year old the violence and tantrums are directed towards their own mother it becomes intolerable.
People do not judge the parents.... Judge social services who just aren't there....
They would if they could perhaps... But it's another example of money being tight and cut backs.
So where is the big society'??? Where are the general public... What do you do when you see a child whose behaving oddly in the street... Please educate yourselves to help those families struggling... Your neighbour perhaps..get involved to help.
The stats are 1 in 100 children are on the autistic spectrum ...that's a lot of children and adults...remember autism is a life long disability .
Tragic !!!
Very brave of you to share your struggles with everybody....happy you now have the support your family deserve......
Absolutely right. Anyone who merrily thinks those who really need it get the help they need is living in cloud-cuckoo land these days. Unfortunately the most vulnerable people are often the ones least likely to get help, people who may not be very articulate, or not know how or where to go for help, or might have a crippling social anxiety problem and can't make phone calls or approach people etc, or people that don't understand you have to keep on and on and on and on until you "might" get some (which may then be taken away as the Government or Council changes policies like the wind). Not made any easier when so many phone numbers cost money to ring, and people are kept holding for ages. Many can't afford the phone calls or the bus fares to even try to get help!
[quote][p][bold]Shiwar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jennyann1[/bold] wrote: I have an autistic son who's ten, he's quiet challenging at times and finds going out of the house to different or new places difficult. Luckily for him and me he has several older siblings and his dad is very good at managing him. I also have direct payments from social services so as a family we have some respite. However it took a real tragedy for us to get that support , I became seriously ill with depression and had a breakdown. We had been asking for support from social service for many months prior to that and didn't get any. I've been told by other parents that it is nigh on impossible to get direct payments for respite now whatever the circumstances !!! Parents with seriously disabled children do not get the support they need!!! These children attend special needs schools usually and this is a hidden problem... I have heard of parents, usually single mothers who become so isolated and depressed they loose all hope. If your autistic child who has the body of a man, but the emotional age of a four year old the violence and tantrums are directed towards their own mother it becomes intolerable. People do not judge the parents.... Judge social services who just aren't there.... They would if they could perhaps... But it's another example of money being tight and cut backs. So where is the big society'??? Where are the general public... What do you do when you see a child whose behaving oddly in the street... Please educate yourselves to help those families struggling... Your neighbour perhaps..get involved to help. The stats are 1 in 100 children are on the autistic spectrum ...that's a lot of children and adults...remember autism is a life long disability . Tragic !!![/p][/quote]Very brave of you to share your struggles with everybody....happy you now have the support your family deserve......[/p][/quote]Absolutely right. Anyone who merrily thinks those who really need it get the help they need is living in cloud-cuckoo land these days. Unfortunately the most vulnerable people are often the ones least likely to get help, people who may not be very articulate, or not know how or where to go for help, or might have a crippling social anxiety problem and can't make phone calls or approach people etc, or people that don't understand you have to keep on and on and on and on until you "might" get some (which may then be taken away as the Government or Council changes policies like the wind). Not made any easier when so many phone numbers cost money to ring, and people are kept holding for ages. Many can't afford the phone calls or the bus fares to even try to get help! heartbeat

11:26am Sun 8 Dec 13

_Lotus_ says...

This was seriously one of the most gruesome ways to commit suicide, I do not get that bit I am sorry.

My heart goes out to the son, the mother was not in her own mind I am sure.

Everyday, I read stuff in the papers, see stuff on the internet and I think to myself "that is one of the worse things I have ever seen/heard/read" and I consider that I could not hear about anything more awful and then along comes something that is even more horrible - this particular case is one of those.

Death by fire - I pray that they died very, very quickly, this is beyond awful :(
This was seriously one of the most gruesome ways to commit suicide, I do not get that bit I am sorry. My heart goes out to the son, the mother was not in her own mind I am sure. Everyday, I read stuff in the papers, see stuff on the internet and I think to myself "that is one of the worse things I have ever seen/heard/read" and I consider that I could not hear about anything more awful and then along comes something that is even more horrible - this particular case is one of those. Death by fire - I pray that they died very, very quickly, this is beyond awful :( _Lotus_

11:44am Sun 8 Dec 13

pudsey says...

May god bless the boy. I have nothing to about the mother.
May god bless the boy. I have nothing to about the mother. pudsey

4:08pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Shoeburygem says...

Cathy and her son Beki were my neighbours, i still do not believe this was a suicide, i don't believe that Cathy would harm Beki in any way. Beki had an infectious smile and laugh, i miss hearing him laughing with his younger brother. I have lived here for ten years, And Beki always held the door open for us, and always said hello, he was a polite young boy and well liked.

Just something is telling me there's more to this, definately not a suicide-murder. Cathy's car had been tampered with on many occasions.
Cathy and her son Beki were my neighbours, i still do not believe this was a suicide, i don't believe that Cathy would harm Beki in any way. Beki had an infectious smile and laugh, i miss hearing him laughing with his younger brother. I have lived here for ten years, And Beki always held the door open for us, and always said hello, he was a polite young boy and well liked. Just something is telling me there's more to this, definately not a suicide-murder. Cathy's car had been tampered with on many occasions. Shoeburygem

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