AN ARSONIST who killed a mum-to-be by starting a fire in a communal hallway had been on the police wanted list for two months when the tragedy took place.

Lillo Troisi, 48, admitted manslaughter and arson this month over the fire at the Grampian flats on the Balmoral estate in Westcliff that killed 30-year-old Khabi Abrey on May 9.

The Echo can now reveal that Troisi, who lived in the same block of flats, was wanted over an incident at Barclays bank in Southend High Street on March 7, during which threats were made to two female workers.

Despite police racing to the scene and later gathering CCTV evidence, an attempt to arrest Troisi in April failed and he was not arrested until he was already in custody on May 9, following the fire.

Troisi denied making the threats and the charges were officially dismissed at Southend Magistrates’ Court on the grounds that further prosecution was not in the public interest.

Simon Bravery, for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), told the court: “He is awaiting sentence before the crown court for matters which will attract an almost certainly considerable sentence.

“These matters will add nothing to the totality of sentence and so the Crown is withdrawing.”

The charges alleged that Troisi used “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause that person to believe that immediate unlawful violence would be used”.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Following the initial police attendance at Barclays Bank in March, further police investigations took place to establish the details of the incident.

“These included CCTV collection and seeking and speaking to witnesses to gain further accounts.

“Mr Troisi was subsequently arrested on May 9, although a previous attempt to arrest him had been made in April.

“Regarding the incidents at the bank and the fire, we are satisfied there is no connection between the two incidents.”

Troisi will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on December 2.