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Police force referred to watchdog after toddler found dead next to dad





Police signage (Joe Giddens/PA)

A police force has referred itself to the police watchdog after a toddler was found dead next to his father’s body.

Bronson Battersby, two, was found beside his dad Kenneth, 60, who had suffered a fatal heart attack at his flat in Skegness, The Sun newspaper reported.

Lincolnshire Police was contacted on two separate occasions by a Lincolnshire County Council social worker who got no answer when they tried knocking on the door of Mr Battersby’s home.

A spokesman for the county council confirmed the social worker communicated with Mr Battersby on December 27 and arranged to visit on January 2.

There was no response during that January visit, so the social worker “made inquiries at other addresses where the child could be” and contacted the police.

A second unannounced visit on January 4 also went unanswered, and Lincolnshire Police were contacted again.

Days later on January 9, the social worker was let into the property by the landlord, where Mr Battersby and his son were found dead.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is assessing what action to take.

The boy’s mother Sarah Piesse, 43, told The Sun her son had starved to death after his father died and blamed social services for not doing more to help them.

She said: “If social services had done their job Bronson would still be alive.

“But they didn’t do anything.

“I can’t believe it.

“They can’t let them get away with this.

“They think Kenneth died no earlier than December 29.

“It means if the social worker had pushed to get in when she got no reply on January 2 then Bronson would still have been alive.”

As part of standard procedures we have referred this to the IOPC as a result of a death or serious injury following police involvement
Lincolnshire Police

Heather Sandy, executive director for children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This was a tragic incident, and we are supporting the family at this difficult time.

“We are currently 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.”

In a statement, Lincolnshire Police confirmed they had made a referral to the IOPC.

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

“As part of standard procedures we have referred this to the IOPC as a result of a death or serious injury following police involvement.”

The IOPC confirmed it had received a referral and is “assessing that to determine what further action is required from us”.



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