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Mother's petition to Downing Street

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THE MOTHER OF TWO BOYS KILLED IN A HOUSE FIRE STARTED BY THEIR FATHER HAS HANDED IN A PETITION AT DOWNING STREET CALLING FOR A CHANGE IN THE LAW GOVERNING ACCESS TO CHILDREN.

Jack and Paul Sykes, aged 12 and nine, died when their father Darren, 44, set fire to the property in Penistone on 22 October 2014. Mr Sykes was also killed.

The children were on a weekend access visit after the family had split up.

Their mother Claire Throssell said that "children's voices needed to be heard".

More than 40,000 people have signed the petition, which calls for "the government and family courts to ensure there are no further avoidable child deaths as a result of unsafe child contact with a perpetrator of domestic abuse".

Ms Throssell said she had previously warned a judge that her ex-husband would "either kill or significantly harm the boys".

"He threatened to commit suicide a couple of months earlier and he just wasn't in the right place at the time to have safe contact with the two boys.

"WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS TO MAKE SURE CHILDREN ARE AT THE HEART OF EVERY DECISION MADE AND THEY ARE ALLOWED THEIR VOICE.

"Jack never had his voice heard until he was in the fire and he said to the fireman 'my dad did this and he did it on purpose'.) 

Sykes and Paul died in the fire, while Jack died in hospital six days later.

A coroner ruled both boys had been unlawfully killed and recorded a verdict of suicide in the case of their father.

Please see the full story on the BBC Website

At Gepp and Sons we can help with all kind of issues involving your children and provide the right advice making sure they are at the heart of every decision made in relation to a separation or a divorce.

Please contact our family lawyers either Sally Ward on 01245 228118 or at wards@gepp.co.uk or Keeley Lawrence-Hoyle on 01245 228116 or at Lawrence-hoylek@gepp.co.uk

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.