A MOTHER whose two boys were killed by her abusive ex-husband, is to become a champion of a North Yorkshire domestic abuse charity.

Claire Throssell’s two young boys, aged nine and 12, had been staying with their father on an unsupervised visit in October 2014 when they were murdered.

Darren Sykes lured the children to the attic to play with a new model train set. He then lit multiple fires downstairs with petrol he had bought days earlier.

Sykes then joined his sons in the attic to wait for the flames to take hold.

Mr Sykes and Paul, the younger of the two boys, were recovered by firefighters and pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

Jack, Claire’s oldest son, had tried to drag his younger brother to the loft hatch, where he was discovered by firefighters.

The boy died five days later in hospital. Before he died, he was able to tell his rescuers that his father had started the blaze.

Since losing her two sons, Claire, from Penistone in South Yorkshire, has campaigned for changes to the Family Courts and an improved understanding of the impact and dangers of domestic abuse.

She has now become a champion for the domestic abuse charity for York and North Yorkshire, IDAS.

The charity’s Champions scheme is a network of people who support the work that IDAS do and look for opportunities to raise awareness in their communities.

Claire said: “Domestic abuse is a silent killer and it can often continue through children after separation.

“We live in a democracy that stands against oppression and fear yet that is exactly what victims of domestic abuse live with every day and many of the victims are also children. It must stop, and it must stop now.

“Because of this, I am very proud to support IDAS and will do all that I can to raise awareness about their services.”

Sarah Hill, chief executive of IDAS, said: “It is a privilege to be working with Claire Throssell, whose bravery is an inspiration.

"Together we hope to increase the understanding of how dangerous domestic abuse can be.

"Tragically, Claire’s experiences are not isolated as many abusers continue the abuse through their children even after parents have separated.

“Whilst public awareness is increasing there is still work to be done to ensure warning signs are taken seriously, and children are adequately safeguarded.

"Our trained Independent Domestic Violence Advisors offer confidential, non-judgemental support including safety planning and risk assessments.”