Toddler died of starvation while curled up next to his father who died of heart attack

Wednesday, January 17, 2024
 – A two-year-old boy died of starvation curled up next to his father after the man suffered a fatal heart attack, his family has revealed.

Bronson Battersby was found dead on January 9, 2024, 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 weekly checks by children’s services.

A social worker visited their home on January 2 but received no reply so contacted the police. She returned to the house 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 her son died of dehydration and starvation, according to Piesse.

“Bronson starved to death because his dad died,” she added. “They think Kenneth died no earlier than 29 December.”

She added: “I couldn’t pick him up because his body was too fragile. 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.”

She said her “head and heart [were] in pieces.”

She added: “A lot of anger inside at minute when I just want to remember his little smile and soft nature instead. He was perfect.”

The boy 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 which 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 had not been suspended but had voluntarily taken time off, the Sun reported.

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.”

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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