A woman was killed in an arson attack hours before she was due to return home after a visit to the UK, a court has heard.

Memunatu Warne, 46, from Sierra Leone, had been staying with relatives in Woolwich, when she became the innocent victim of a drugs feud in the early hours of September 6 last year, the Old Bailey was told.

Muhammad Kanu, 62, and Umuhawa Kanu, 52, were woken as their terraced home filled with thick black smoke and escaped by jumping through a window, jurors were told.

The fire was deliberately started from outside using petrol, prosecutor Simon Denison QC said.

He told jurors: "Mr Kanu was woken by the sound of Memunatu Warne shouting out from downstairs - she was in a bedroom on the first floor - but they couldn't get to her as the smoke was too thick.

"They had a choice - jump from the second-floor window and in all likelihood suffer serious injury, or die in the fire. Mrs Kanu and then Mr Kanu jumped.

"Both suffered very serious injuries that continue to affect them but they survived. Mrs Warne didn't get out. She died in the fire."

The prosecutor said the fire was started by the pillion passenger of a motorbike which had arrived in Centurion Square and was tracked as part of a "painstaking" police investigation.

Mr Denison said: "It is beyond doubt that this fire was deliberately started, at a time chosen when the occupants would be asleep upstairs and therefore at their most vulnerable to fire."

The attack was allegedly organised by William Smith, 26.

The motorbike was ridden by Kurtis Freeman, 21, and his passenger who set the fire was Elliott Robinson, 21, it was claimed.

They were allegedly helped by Matthew John, 20, Kye Kendall, 19, and Martin McArdle, 29.

Mr Denison said Mrs Warne and her hosts were "completely innocent victims of this murderous attack".

He said: "While the prosecution cannot prove by any direct evidence what the motive for it was, the overwhelming likelihood is that this attack was related to a dispute between drug dealers, because these defendants were all involved together in dealing in drugs in the south-east London area.

"Mr and Mrs Kanu have a son, Sa'id, who it may well be suggested was the real target."

The defendants, from south-east London, deny murder, two charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and arson.

Smith and McArdle also deny perverting the course of justice.