During the investigation into the death of a toddler, Bronson Battersby’s mother reveals heartbreaking new details
8 mins read

During the investigation into the death of a toddler, Bronson Battersby’s mother reveals heartbreaking new details

Bronson Battersby’s mother has revealed heartbreaking details of the tragic death of the toddler, who was reportedly starved to death after being left alone with his father’s remains for days.

A two-year-old child was found dead next to the body of Kenneth Battersby, two weeks after a neighbor saw them alive at their home in Skegness, Lincolnshire, on Boxing Day.

Kenneth, 60, is believed to have died of a heart attack shortly afterwards, leaving Bronson in the dark with no food or water.

Two-year-old Bronson Battersby was found dead of starvation weeks after he was last seen alive (Facebook)Two-year-old Bronson Battersby was found dead of starvation weeks after he was last seen alive (Facebook)

Two-year-old Bronson Battersby was found dead of starvation weeks after he was last seen alive (Facebook)

Fighting back tears, Bronson’s devastated mother, Sarah Piesse, 43, said her son was just two inches too small to reach the fridge full of Christmas leftovers and save him. He also couldn’t reach the faucet due to his height, or the snacks, as they had recently been moved to a higher cabinet to prevent him from helping himself to them.

Piesse said Sun she is kept awake by a “haunting” vision of her “gorgeous baby boy,” who was born weighing just over 4 pounds, wandering desperately in the dark looking for food and water.

Telling she still had her son’s Christmas present at home – a toy steering wheel – she said: ‘I know they both had a big Christmas dinner together. They had all the trimmings and chicken instead of turkey because Bronson liked chicken. All the food would still be in the fridge. If only Bronson had been a little taller, he would have survived. The fridge would be full of Christmas leftovers.”

Sarah Piesse said her son is just two inches too small to reach a fridge full of Christmas leftovers (Facebook)Sarah Piesse found her son was just two inches too small to reach a fridge full of Christmas leftovers (Facebook)

Sarah Piesse found her son was just two inches too small to reach a fridge full of Christmas leftovers (Facebook)

Smiling at the memory of her boy, she continued, “Typical, cheeky, little two-year-old. He always tried to get his favorite pink wafers. And when we said nothing more, he smiled and shouted, “Yes! More more more!’ Kenny moved all the snacks higher up so he couldn’t get to them without asking.

“Now all I can think about is him, hungry, reaching for food and trying to get it. I can not stand it. He was about two inches short of being able to reach the fridge and open it.

“His last moments were spent alone, he must have been very thirsty and hungry. He will cry. He will be very confused. And Kenny was there, on the floor. I can only pray he thinks his dad is asleep.

Kenneth Battersby is believed to have died of a heart attack shortly after December 26, leaving Bronson in the dark, without food or water (Facebook)Kenneth Battersby is believed to have died of a heart attack shortly after December 26, leaving Bronson in the dark, without food or water (Facebook)

Kenneth Battersby is believed to have died of a heart attack shortly after December 26, leaving Bronson in the dark, without food or water (Facebook)

An anguished Piesse said she lay awake at night, unable to forgive herself for not being there to save her two-year-old.

She said: “It haunts me. If I manage to sleep at all, it’s only for a few hours. I wake up with a start, thinking about him wandering alone and starving. He must have finally been so weak that he decided to give up and cling to his dad, hugging his legs.

“I will never forgive myself for not being there. When I imagine him alone in that apartment, I feel like a failure, cruel and selfish. This little boy was sitting there and he wanted to drink, he wanted to eat. This breaks my heart even more.”

Piesse wondered why authorities didn’t do more for her boy.

She said: “I just don’t understand why the alarm wasn’t raised sooner. Why didn’t they do it? I’m living in a nightmare from which I will never wake up.”

– said Lincolnshire County Council Independent that social services spoke to Battersby on 27 December to arrange a visit to the children’s home on 2 January. The council said it had received no response that day and contacted the police, and two days later it made an unannounced visit before contacting the police again.

However, the bodies of the father and son were not found until five days later, on January 9, after the council found that a social worker had been forced to gain access from the owner in order to enter the property on his own.

The council launched a “rapid review” of the case after initial tests showed Bronson, who was in the care of child welfare services, died of dehydration and starvation. Lincolnshire Police said the exact actions of all organizations involved would be examined in an upcoming review.

Police said they had also approached the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). A spokesman for the regulator confirmed it was currently assessing the report to determine further action.

Piesse said she learned of Kenneth Battersby’s death from a friend who lived on the street and immediately asked, “Where the hell is my boy then?” Who’s got my boy?

She said Sun: “I got there as fast as I could. I was there in 10 minutes. I ran down the street screaming Bronson’s name. I called out to him, knowing he would need me. I was afraid of what he might see after my father died.

“But the police on the spot put me in the back of the ambulance. They told me that a two-year-old boy had been found at the scene and that they were conducting an autopsy.

“My whole world fell apart. I screamed, “How? How?’ I knew Kenny wouldn’t let anything happen to Bronson. He would never lay a finger on him.

Piesse said she and Battersby – who also have a three-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son – had an on-off relationship after their 2019 split. She said when Piesse moved into his new apartment six months ago, the couple decided Bronson would live with Battersby because they felt the high stairs without handrails in her home were unsafe.

Speaking through tears, Piesse said the row with Battersby meant she last saw Bronson in November, when she made him spaghetti bolognese and he was playing with his siblings. She said she was scheduled to meet her son this month to give him a Christmas present.

She said Sun: “Kenny and Bronson have always had a bond, so buying a new apartment for Bronson made sense.

“Social services were involved, so I knew they were nearby and checking in.

“Kenny and I had a fight in November and if he said no, then no. So I stepped back a little and gave him space. Now I will never stop regretting it. I can’t sleep because every time I close my eyes I see his face.

She added: “No other mother should have to go through what I went through.

“I want to know why they didn’t get access on the first visit? That would have saved him.

The social worker concerned was not suspended but took leave following the incident.

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

“We are currently reviewing the case with partner agencies to better understand the circumstances and are awaiting the results of the coroner’s inquest.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved.”

Lincolnshire Police said: “Police were informed of the deaths of a 60-year-old man and a two-year-old child at a property on Prince Alfred Avenue, Skegness, at around 3.25pm ​​on Tuesday, January 9.

“An investigation has been carried out and the deaths are not being treated as suspicious.

“The case has been forwarded to the coroner’s office.”

They added: “The precise actions of the organizations involved will be examined in the upcoming review and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

“As part of standard procedures, we have reported a matter to the IOPC in relation to death or serious injury resulting from police intervention.”

A spokesman for the Independent Office for Police Conduct said: “We can confirm that we have received a report about this matter from Lincolnshire Police and we are currently assessing it to determine what further action is required of us.”