Claire Throssell: Mother vows to challenge 'every court' in campaign to protect children from abuse after two sons killed by father

·2-min read

A mother has said she will challenge "every court in this land" in her campaign to protect children from abuse after both her sons were killed by their father.

Claire Throssell lost Jack, 12, and nine-year-old Paul after Darren Sykes barricaded them inside an attic and set fire to their Sheffield home in 2014.

Speaking on Sky's Beth Rigby Interviews programme, she said: "The first thing I saw was a medic doing CPR on Paul.

"I ran through to him and I just scooped him up into my arms and when people say the light goes out of people's eyes, you don't believe it till you see it.

"These beautiful blue eyes just looked at me and they turned grey."

Jack, who suffered severe burns in the fire, managed to survive the ordeal and was taken to a hospital in Manchester but died five days later.

Ms Throssell was married to Sykes for 16 years, during which she was subjected to "coercive" and "controlling" behaviour.

However, it was after their marriage ended that the "danger escalated" and she was forced to go to court to stop him from seeing their sons.

Despite arguing that Sykes was a danger to their children, Ms Throssell was denied a court order preventing him from having visits with the two boys.

"I told the court in my application...that he was capable of killing the boys," she said.

Following their deaths, Ms Throssell launched a campaign to stop unsafe child contact with dangerous perpetrators of domestic abuse.

She explained: "Jack and Paul made 19 children murdered at the hands of a known perpetrator of domestic abuse, and now we're up to 43 children and it's not even been 10 years.

"I promised both of them that they would be the last.

"The day that I don't talk about them the day that I don't feel them - that's the day that they die."

'I'm going to carry on even though it rips my heart in two'

Her campaign, Child First: Safe Child Contact Saves Lives, calls on the government and family courts to take action and has received more than 76,000 signatures.

"I will challenge every court in this land. I will challenge every lord, every lady, every baroness, every baronet, every prime minister," Ms Throssell said.

"I will challenge them all to say that they have done the best that they can to keep every child in this country safe.

"I'm going to carry on even though it rips my heart in two every day because they would have stood up and done the same for me."

You can watch the interview with Ms Throssell on Beth Rigby Interviews on Sky News at 9pm or tomorrow morning at 8am on Sky Showcase.

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