‘I will never give up fight for justice for my son’ – fire dad

Tragedy: Paresh Patel with his son Jai
Tragedy: Paresh Patel with his son Jai
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The father of a four-year-old boy killed in a fire deliberately started by his mother said today he would never give up his fight for justice for his son.

Paresh Patel’s son Jai Joshi died with his mother Janma, 40, in a blaze in Liverpool in May 2014

Tragedy: Jai

Tragedy: Jai

Ms Joshi had failed to return Jai to his father, who had won custody.

It later emerged that Jai’s mother had deliberately started the blaze with petrol.

Now a serious case review by the Lancashire Local Safeguarding Children Board has concluded that the tragic outcome could not have been predicted.

Paresh says even though he contacted police, social services and the courts repeatedly, Jai remained in his mother’s care and missed two-and-a-half weeks of school before the fire.

I will pursue this case until I get justice and somebody accepts their failings. I want it made clear that Jai’s death was preventable

Paresh, 44, runs a newsagents in Hutton, near Preston which he has re-named “Jai’s Place”.

Paresh said he understood the conclusion that the tragedy could not have been predicted, but there had still been major ailings by agencies involved.

He said; “I will pursue this case until I get justice and somebody accepts their failings. I want it made clear that Jai’s death was preventable.”

The review said: “In this case it is not possible to see or capture a neat and defined moment where, had all factors been known about and understood, critical and life preserving action could have been taken.

It added: “Agency failures, omissions and deficits added to an already messy and complex set of family and parental dynamics.”

The review found that there had been concerns about the mental health of Jai’s mother, and there were “a number of policy, procedural and practice areas where improvements can be made.” Individual workers, in Liverpool Children’s Services and Merseyside Police were “compromised” in their work due to pressures and workload demands.

Action for Children’s head of safeguarding, Deanna Neilson, said: “This horrifying and heart-breaking case demonstrates the crucial importance of professionals never losing sight of a child in custody battles. Whether it’s in a court of law, a social worker’s office or GP’s surgery, the needs of the child must remain central to every decision.”