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Baby Bronson: Social services did what they could within the powers that they had

The sister of Bronson Battersby, who was found to have died of starvation on 9 January despite recent visits from social, says that social workers and the police were not to blame for her brother’s death.

19/01/24

Baby Bronson: Social services did what they could within the powers that they had

Melanie Battersby, 37, says she does not believe that social workers were at fault in the death of her younger brother Bronson Battersby.

Two-year-old Bronson Battersby is believed to have died of starvation after his father, Kenneth Battersby, 60, died suddenly of a heart attack.

The pair were found dead in their home on 9 January.

The council says a social worker visited the property for a scheduled visit on 2 January. Unable to access the property and receiving no response, the council says she informed her manager and the police. Further unannounced visits were made to the family on 4 January and 9 January, after which Mr Battersby's landlady was alerted and social services gained entry to find the pair dead.

Following early media reports, many were quick to criticise social services and the police. Lincolnshire County Council has begun a “rapid review” of the circumstances around the deaths and Lincolnshire Police has referred itself to watchdog.

However, speaking to the BBC, Bronson’s sister said she “[doesn't] place any blame at all” on the social workers.

“I believe that social services and the police did what they could within the powers that they had and the information that they were given.

Melanie added that it “must be devastating” for social workers who “have to deal with tragedies like this”.

She did, however, question whether there “could've been a different outcome for my baby brother”, as social services were aware of her father’s condition. She added that she was “glad that an inquiry is going to take place into whether there were any failings, missed opportunities.”

Heather Sandy, Executive Director of Children's Services at Lincolnshire County Council, said the deaths were “devastating”.

“What's really important is that we understand fully what has happened, so the rapid review will allow all of those agencies to come together and to look at what has happened,” Ms Sandy told the BBC.

Image: Facebook

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