Calls for new investigation to be opened into historical killing of West Yorkshire boy

  • Video report by Jon Hill

A mother whose seven-year-old son was killed in a house fire started by an arsonist has launched a petition calling for a new investigation into the cold case.

Joe McCafferty died in Huddersfield 24 years ago when someone poured petrol through a letter-box and burnt down his aunt's house where he was sleeping over.

Joe's mother is calling for another force to take over the case, saying that she has lost faith in West Yorkshire Police to solve the crime.

She said: "As a mother, I shouldn't still be sat here appealing to find out who's killed, my son."

She added: "He was a happy, fun-loving seven-year-old boy who loved life. He loved playing with his brother his cousins, and they just used to have fun together, you know, doing things like normal children and they were very close.

"And it's just destroyed everything."

The scene of the fire in 1997. Credit: ITV Calendar Archive

No arrests were made until 2015 when a 65-year-old man and 60-year-old woman were arrested before being released with no charge.

Elizabeth Belton the detective in charge of the hunt at the time of the arrests was later jailed herself for perverting the course of justice in another case.

West Yorkshire Police says it's attempted to make contact with the family to discuss their concerns and have insisted that the investigation remains open.

In a statement, Detective Chief Inspector Sharron Kaye said: "We continue to want to see those responsible for Joe's death brought to justice, and we remain as committed and determined as ever to solving this case."

The force said that they were appealing directly to anyone who can help secure justice for Joe to come forward.

5,000 people have signed the petition calling for a new force to take over the investigation.