How could no-one save him? Bronson Battersby should still be alive - I hope he gets the answers he deserves

18 January 2024, 10:05

Bronson Battersby was found starved to death next to his father's body
Bronson Battersby was found starved to death next to his father's body. Picture: Facebook

By Asher McShane

On Tuesday morning, as I left for work in the January darkness, I poked my head into my children’s bedroom - as I do every morning, to check on them.

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My two wonderful children, aged 3 and 5, were sleeping cosily in their bunk beds. I felt so lucky.

Minutes later, checking the news on my way to work, I was confronted by a story of unimaginable horror.

Two-year-old Bronson Battersby was dead. Starved to death next to the body of his 60-year-old father who suffered a fatal heart attack around the New Year.

Bronson was found curled up at his father’s legs, 14, days after he was last seen alive on Boxing Day.

Today it has emerged his mother, Sarah Piesse, is consumed by the thought of her son being just too short to reach the fridge, or the tap.

“His last moments were spent alone and he must have been so thirsty and hungry,” she told the Sun.

It is the type of terrible tragedy that will have left people across the country with a sick feeling in the pit of the stomach.

It also raises so many questions. They were last seen on Boxing Day.

It is not known exactly when poor Kenneth died, but he texted a neighbour on the 27th. It is possible that tragic Bronson may have already passed away by the time social workers first knocked on the door on January 2.

Social services visited for a second time two days later and contacted police again. The father and son were not found until January 9 when social workers used the landlord’s key to enter the property.

Speaking as a father, if I don’t hear about my children for more than half a day I start to become fidgety. I want to know what they’ve been doing, who they’ve been playing with, have they eaten well, what they want for dinner, are they happy, do they need anything?

Were there no WhatsApp video calls? Texts to Ms Piesse letting her know Bronson was fine? What happened when she hadn’t heard from them for several days? What is the explanation for the gap between the second call to police on January 4 and the bodies only being found five days later?

Did no-one hear him crying? How could no-one save him?

His mother’s grief must be all-consuming. I do help she gets any help she needs to deal with the devastation of losing her child in such a horrific way. The social worker involved has reportedly taken time off voluntarily.

Lincolnshire Police has referred itself to the watchdog and Lincolnshire County Council has also pledged a ‘rapid review’. Bronson was classified as vulnerable by social services and was meant to have weekly visits.

The tragic case raises further questions about what processes are in place to protect vulnerable children around the country over the Christmas and New Year period and whether changes need to be made.

I hope Bronson gets the answers he deserves.