Pictured: Children found dead at house in Bristol as woman held for 'murder'

19 February 2024, 15:52 | Updated: 20 February 2024, 14:00

The children killed in Bristol have been pictured
The children killed in Bristol have been pictured. Picture: Facebook/Alamy

By Asher McShane

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder after three children were found dead at a property in Bristol.

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Fares Bash, seven, his sister Joury Bash, three, and nine-month-old Mohammed Bash were found dead at the property in Bristol on Sunday.

Officers were called to a property in the Sea Mills area of the city on Sunday morning by a member of the public concerned for the welfare of the people inside.

The children, who have not been formally named by detectives, were found inside the property and pronounced dead at the scene just after 12.40am on Sunday.

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Avon and Somerset Police said in a statement this afternoon: "While formal identification has not yet taken place, we can confirm the children who died are believed to be seven-year-old Fares Bash, three-year-old Joury Bash and nine-month-old Mohammed Bash, who were all siblings.

"Their next of kin are continuing to be supported by specially trained officers and our thoughts remain with them at this incredibly difficult time, as well as everyone affected by this tragedy."

The force said post-mortem examinations will be carried out to establish the cause of the children's deaths but are unlikely to be completed until "the middle to the end of this week at the earliest".

A 42-year-old woman who was arrested at the scene remains in police custody in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police were called to a property in the Sea Mills area of Bristol on Sunday
Police were called to a property in the Sea Mills area of Bristol on Sunday. Picture: Alamy

Members of the Sudanese community gathered at the Sea Mills Methodist Church to pay their respects to the children.

People had travelled from as far as Newport to visit the church, which is around the corner from where the incident took place.

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Three children were found dead at the scene
Three children were found dead at the scene. Picture: Alamy

Salwa Bashar, a family friend from Bristol, said: "I have known this family for over six years now.

"They are part of our community, they're family friends.

"She and her husband are a very big part of our community, they were just lovely people and were always smiling.

"She's very friendly and he's also really friendly.

"I was shocked (when I heard the news) - I didn't want to believe it, I didn't want it to be true.

A 42-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of murder
A 42-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of murder. Picture: Alamy

"I was, I still am in shock. I was really really sad, I still am very sad.

"The Sudanese community, not just in Bristol but across the UK, are shocked as well.

"This is something I have never heard of happening before in our community, never in my life.

"It's beyond unbelievable."

Ms Bashar said she felt various organisations, including the police, had let down the family, and the community wanted answers over how this happened.

Ahmed Abdelaal, another family friend, said: "We are all shocked. We don't know why this has happened or what has happened.

"She was an amazing mum, we don't know what led to this incident."

Avon and Somerset Police has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog over prior contact.

Chief Inspector Vicks Hayward-Melen told reporters at the scene on Monday that the police believe this to be an isolated incident and there is no risk to the wider community.

She said: "The death of such young children is a great shock to the whole community and this incident has had a profound and deep impact on all of us in the police.

"We'll be making sure all those involved in the response and the subsequent investigation are given any welfare support they may need.

"I know people will be eager to have answers, but the major crime investigation team are in the very early stages of what will be a highly sensitive, complex and thorough investigation, and it will take time to establish all the facts.

"We anticipate we'll need to carry out further inquiries at the scene for the rest of the week and there will be some cordons in place while we do this."