Tasnim Lowe was 16 months old when her dad set her mum's home in Telford alight. Before he set the house on fire, he carried baby Tasnim to safety. Tasnim's mum, grandmother and aunt were all killed in the blaze. Lucy Lowe, Tasnim's mum, was just 16 years old. Despite denying his guilt, Azhar Ali Mehmood, Tasnim's dad, was given a life sentence for triple murder. Tasnim's dad has served 18 years in jail. He is now eligible for release and Tasnim, now 19 years old, has been asked to bring her opinion to the parole board. Tasnim wants answers about why her dad killed her mum.
Tasnim was raised by her grandfather, the only family member to survive the fire. She talks to her grandfather and great-uncle to learn more about what happened that night. Tasnim turns to local newspaper and TV archive footage to begin to try to understand her dad’s motive. She finds allegations of his possessive behaviour towards Lucy and suggestions of problems in their relationship. Unexpectedly, a newspaper investigation into child sexual exploitation changes everything Tasnim thought she knew about her parents.
Azhar was nine years older than Lucy when she became pregnant at 14 years old. Tasnim accesses court transcripts from her dad’s trial. Reports of possessive behaviour and sexual jealousy were included in the court transcript but the trial never investigated the exploitative nature of their relationship. Tasnim’s grandfather also remembers arguments between Lucy and Azhar and was aware that their relationship was turbulent. Tasnim faces an uncomfortable truth: why did no-one listen to Lucy?
19 years after the fire, the police release Lucy’s belongings for the first time. Among the belongings Tasnim makes a shocking discovery: three of Lucy’s diaries that were written during her pregnancy and the first 6 months of Tasnim’s life. After reading some of Lucy’s entries, Tasnim wonders if her mum was abused by a wider network of men as well as her dad. Tasnim speaks to a victim of grooming gangs in Telford and hears again that Lucy’s death was used a violent threat to silence victims. She is still haunted by the threat to this day.