Police believe Jai was ‘unlawfully killed’

Jai Joshi
Jai Joshi
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Detectives have told an inquest they believe a four-year-old boy was unlawfully killed when his mum committed suicide in a house blaze.

Jai Joshi, from Hutton, and mum Janma Joshi, 40, died when a fire broke out at her flat in Tuebrook, Merseyside on May 8 this year.

Jai was a pupil at Howick CE Primary School in Penwortham but had been staying with his mother before his death.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy O’Connor told Liverpool coroner’s court that the Merseyside Police investigation was almost finished, but enquiries by Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board and Lancashire’s Child Death Overview Panel were ongoing.

He said: “We’re at the stage now where I think we will be able to satisfy your court that an unlawful killing has taken place and a suicide.

“There is no evidence of any third party involvement.”

Both inquests were adjourned until September 19, when the evidence will be heard simultaneously in each case.

During the short hearing, coroner André Rebello said he was awaiting the results of a police investigation before the two inquests could be heard in full.

He said: “We are dealing with unlawful killing and or suicide, both of which need evidence proving beyond reasonable doubt.

“The evidence is based upon CCTV, forensic investigations and pathology. There will be some witness statements. The evidence is mainly forensic investigation.”

Mr Rebello, who said Jai would have turned five next month, offered the court’s “deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers” to his dad Paresh Patel’s family and the family of Miss Joshi, and said the court recognised it was important the inquests took place as soon as possible.

Speaking outside Liverpool Coroner’s Court, Mr Patel, 43, from Hutton, said: “As far as I’m concerned it should be called murder, it’s not unlawful killing.

“We’re all at a loss with our Jai and words can’t describe the pain we feel and our loss.

“There is nothing else to say until the final inquest hearing.”

Mr Patel, who is now married to Deviyani, met Miss Joshi on an Indian matrimonial website.

By the time she discovered she was pregnant their relationship was already over, but he told her he wanted to play an active part in his child’s life.

Mr Patel had custody of Jai for more than two years and claims his son was let down by the authorities, after his mum failed to return him after having him for a week during the school Easter holidays.

The newsagent says despite desperate attempts by him to get Jai back by contacting police, the courts and social services, his son remained in his mum’s care for four weeks and out of school for two-and-a-half weeks, culminating in his death.