Two-year-old boy died of starvation curled up next to dead father

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Lincolnshire council launches review after death of Bronson Battersby, who was subject to children’s services checks

Lincolnshire council launches review after death of Bronson Battersby, who was subject to children’s services checks

 

Two-year-old boy died of starvation curled up next to dead father

A two-year-old boy was left alone to die of starvation curled up next to the body of his father, who had suffered a fatal heart attack, his family has revealed.

 

Bronson Battersby was found dead on 9 January, alongside his 60-year-old father, Kenneth, at their home in Skegness, Lincolnshire – 14 days after they were last seen.

 

Lincolnshire county council has launched a review into the death of the toddler, who was classed as vulnerable and subject to checks at least once a month by children’s services.

 

A social worker visited their home on 2 January, after contacting the father on 27 December. But she received no reply and, after making inquiries at other addresses where the child might be, contacted the police. She returned to the house unannounced two days later and contacted the police again as there was still no response.

 

The bodies of the father and son were not found until the social worker got into the home using a key from the landlord days later, the family told the Sun.

 

The boy’s mother, Sarah Piesse, 43, said she last saw her son before Christmas after a row with Kenneth. Her ex is thought to have died of a heart attack no earlier than 29 December.

 

The results of the postmortem examination found that Bronson died of dehydration and starvation, according to his mother. “Bronson starved to death because his dad died,” she said. “They think Kenneth died no earlier than 29 December.”

 

Piesse revealed her distress at being unable to hold her son when she went to identify him. “I couldn’t pick him up because his body was too fragile,” she told the Sun. I could only touch him. He had been left there too long.”

 

The boy’s sister Melanie Battersby paid tribute to him on Facebook: “Beautiful little boy deserved so much better than this life. We love you Bronson, forever a part of us, and forever my baby brother.”

 

Adding her “head and heart [were] in pieces”, she said: “A lot of anger inside at minute when I just want to remember his little smile and soft nature instead. He were perfect.”

 

Bronson was last seen alive when he waved at a neighbour who called to see him and his father on Boxing Day, the Sun reported.

 

Kenneth Battersby was unemployed and had a pre-existing heart condition that had caused him to become severely jaundiced in the months leading up to his death.

 

A friend of the family told the Sun: “It breaks my heart. Bronson deserved so, so much better. He was such a loving, adorable little boy. They found him curled up at Kenneth’s legs. He was left in the dark and must have been terrified and so confused.”

 

She added that the boy loved watching cartoons on the YouTube channel Cocomelon, adored nursery rhymes, and playing with his drum kit.

 

Heather Sandy, the executive director for Lincolnshire children’s services, said: “This was a tragic incident, and we are supporting the family at this difficult time. We are carrying out a review of the case alongside partner agencies to better understand the circumstances, and we await the results of the coroner’s investigations as well.

 

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved.”

 

The social worker involved has not been suspended but has voluntarily taken time off.

 

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire police said: “Police were made aware of the deaths of a 60-year-old man and a two-year-old child at a property in Skegness at around 3.25pm on 9 January. Investigations have been carried out and the deaths are not being treated as suspicious.

 

“The exact actions of organisations involved will be analysed in a forthcoming review and at this stage it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

 

A spokesperson for the east Midlands ambulance service said it had received a call at 4.20pm on 9 January reporting a medical emergency at an address in Skegness. “We sent a crewed ambulance and three paramedics in solo response cars,” he added.


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