Toddler Bronson Battersby found next to dad’s body died from dehydration, inquest hears

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Two-year-old Bronson Battersby was found dead with his father Kenneth in Skegness, Lincolnshire on 9 January, and an inquest has heard the cause of the boy’s death.

Coroner’s officer Tracy Cox stated that the toddler’s cause of death was dehydration during the inquest, which was opened by senior coroner Paul Smith in Lincoln.

The court heard how Bronson went to live with his father after his parents split up in 2022, despite the fact that his two siblings lived with his mother.

Detective Inspector Clair Rimmer of Lincolnshire Police informed the coroner’s court that police were called by a ‘concerned’ neighbour, as they hadn’t seen the two-year-old in a while and smelt something weird coming from his father’s flat.

When authorities made their way into the flat, Kenneth’s body was found behind the living room door, while Bronson was found dead, in between his father’s legs.

The court heard from coroner’s officer Tracy Cox, who confirmed that Bronson’s post-mortem examination just two days after the discovery of the bodies, at Leicestershire Royal Infirmary.

Following the examination, the report confirmed that the toddler died due to dehydration.

Paul Smith then adjourned the inquest to the new date of 10 December, 2024, saying that a ‘thorough and sensitive investigation’ is taking place into the deaths of the father and son.

The in-depth, independent review of the case is being carried out by The Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Partnership, which began in February and is expected to conclude in August.

Kenneth, 60, was believed to have suffered from a heart attack after boxing day at his home, as Bronson was left with no care, unable to have access to any food or water for two weeks prior to his death.

On 2 January, a social worker came to the home for a routine visit, but after not getting an answer at the door, she asked neighbours and the authorities for help.

She was still waiting for a response from the police two days later, with it taking an additional five days for the social worker to get a key from the landlord to check on the pair.

Following the traumatic event, Bronson’s mother, Sarah Piesse, put the blame on social services for missing chances to check on her child.

Piesse, 43, previously said: “They can’t let them get away with this. We have to be able to rely on social workers to keep our children safe.

“They think Kenneth died no earlier than December 29. It means if the social worker had pushed to get in when she got no reply on January 2 then Bronson would still have been alive.”

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