Indian-origin mother killed son in custody battle: UK inquest


London: An Indian-origin mother killed herself and her four-year-old son earlier this year by deliberately setting her house on fire after she lost his custody in a long-drawn court case, an inquest has concluded.

Janma Joshi, 40, and her son, Moksha Jai Joshi, had both died in a fatal fire at their flat in Tuebrook, Liverpool, on May 8 this year.

Joshi was "upset and distressed", the inquest in Liverpool was told, as she faced the prospect of having to hand over her child to his father Paresh Patel, 43, after loosing the custody battle.

Coroner Andre Rebello ruled Jai's death as "unlawful killing".

He told the court "neither family nor professionals could have foreseen the tragedy" and urged both of their families to "let the memory of their lives overshadow the tragedy of their deaths".

Coroner Rebello described their deaths as "shocking and distressing", and said Joshi "intended her death by her own actions and died by her own hands".

The inquest hearing at Liverpool Coroner's Court?was told that Joshi was caught on CCTV buying petrol and putting it in a container from a garage, 17 days before the fatal fire in May.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy O'Connor from Merseyside Police told the court it reflected "some planning" for the fire.

Jai's father took his son's school bag and wore his school badge to the inquest, saying it was "all he had left of him".

Paresh Patel claimed his former wife had "some psychological issues" and knew she had no option but to return Jai under the terms of the court order.

Patel feels, Joshi's last thoughts would have been that "she had won" as he had lost his son. 

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