‘He saw our children as possessions’: my husband killed our sons
By Michelle Rawlins
Like many parents, Claire Throssell carries her sons’ sports gear in the back of her car. Paul’s running trainers and Jack’s PE kit sit in the boot – but they have been there for a long time. For three and a half years, in fact: ever since the two boys were murdered by their father.
“It took just 15 minutes for my life to end and my existence to begin,” she says as she recalls the events of 22 October 2014.
On that day, Darren Sykes, to whom she was married for 16 years, committed the most atrocious of crimes. In a pre-planned act, he lured Jack, 12, and Paul, nine, up to the attic of the family home with the promise of a new train set.
“That in itself makes me feel sick,” Claire says, rubbing the ring on her wedding finger, created from her son’s combined ashes. “My lovely boys thought, for once, their dad was showing them affection and trying to make an effort.”
But Sykes, along with Jack and Paul, only came out of the house in the arms of firefighters – who themselves were left severely traumatised by the scene they faced.