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Neighbour of 2-year-old boy found starved to death next to dad's body recalls last moment she saw him alive

Neighbour of 2-year-old boy found starved to death next to dad's body recalls last moment she saw him alive

Bronson Battersby was found at his home earlier this month

Warning: Article contains details some readers may find upsetting

Bronson Battersby's neighbour has recalled the last time she saw the toddler alive.

Bronson, aged just two, was found dehydrated and starved to death next to the body of his father, Kenneth Battersby, on January 9.

The 60-year-old is believed to have suffered a heart attack at his flat in Skegness, Lincolnshire, some time after Boxing Day.

Meanwhile, the toddler was left alone for two weeks in the dark, unable to eat and drink.

Now, Cheree Ross - Bronson's neighbour - has spoken about the last time she saw the toddler, which was just days before he was found.

The toddler died of dehydration and starvation.
Facebook / Sarah Louise Piesse

Bronson had been discovered on January 9 after social workers were let into the property by a landlord.

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

When there was no answer, the social worker then 'made inquiries at other addresses where the child could be' and contacted the police.

After a second unannounced visit on January 4 also went unanswered, Lincolnshire Police were said to have been contacted again.

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

Neighbour Cheree Ross, who may be the last person to have seen Bronson alive, has said she saw the little one waving from the window, with a 'mouthful of pink wafer' on Boxing Day.

"It got to Boxing Day and we thought, hold on - where's Kenny," she told Sky News, explaining they often see the pair together on the street.

Ms Ross explained that Mr Battersby was 'sorting bits in the kitchen' while they said hello to the toddler.

Bronson and his Father, Kenneth.
Facebook/Sarah Louise Piesse

On the day that the father and son were discovered, Ms Ross says she stood outside the house for two hours, holding a pair of Bronson's gloves.

"It was devastating. I saw paramedics turn up with the police... never did I think that it was Bronson," she said.

"Like an idiot, I stood here for two hours with a pair of gloves that Bronson liked to wear, still covered in chocolate, just waiting for them to bring him out the house."

Bronson was known to children's services, with authorities visiting around once a month.

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.”

Bronson with his Mother, Sarah.
Facebook / Sarah Louise Piesse

In a statement made on Friday (January 19), Lincolnshire Police's Deputy Chief Constable Julia Debenham acknowledged that the death of Bronson, and his father Kenneth had 'understandably captured the attention and hearts of the public'.

She added: "The full circumstances involved are now the subject of a review and details will be examined within that, which will determine if there are lessons for any agency to learn.

"What I would like to make clear is that we did respond to information supplied to us, but for reasons of transparency we have also referred the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

"This is standard procedure, and they will be undertaking their own independent investigation."

She added: "Any speculation around the exact actions of any agencies involved at this stage is premature, though I do understand why our communities want answers as soon as possible.

"I know there are many questions about the exact actions that the police took, and we are limited in what we can say because of the pending inquiries.

"I would like to reassure the public that where we get calls for concern in relation to children, we take necessary and appropriate action to make sure they are as safe as possible, which is always based on the best information and intelligence available to us."

Featured Image Credit: Facebook

Topics: News, UK News