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Sister of two-year-old Bronson Battersby says she does not blame social services

The sister of a two-year-old boy who was found dead alongside his father in Lincolnshire has said police and social services “did what they could” and are not to blame.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Melanie Battersby welcomed the setting up of a local authority inquiry to asses whether there were any failings before the death of Bronson Battersby.

The toddler and his father Kenneth, aged 60, were found dead at their home in Skegness on January 9, after a social worker was let into the property by the landlord.

Lincolnshire County Council is carrying out a “rapid review” of attempts to check on Bronson, who is believed to have starved after his father suffered a heart attack.

Ms Battersby, who lives in Sheffield, said of social services: “I don’t place any blame at all on them.

“I believe that social services and the police did what they could within the powers that they had and the information that they were given.

“I’m glad that an inquiry is going to take place into whether there were any failings, missed opportunities. I’m really glad that is going to take place.”

The 37-year-old, the daughter of Kenneth Battersby, told the BBC that she thought it “must be devastating for them (police and social services) to work in that profession, to have to deal with tragedies like this”.

Mr Battersby had suffered another heart attack a few months before his death, she also told the broadcaster.

She said of her father: “I know how proud he was of every single one of us. He absolutely doted on (Bronson). I think he loved doing what he was doing for him.

“Seeing him with him, it was really, really heart-warming. It made me proud of my dad for what he was doing for his little boy.

“He tried his best for that little boy until his last breath,” she said.

Lincolnshire County Council has confirmed Bronson had been known to children’s services and would typically be seen at least once a month by social workers.

The authority has said a social worker communicated with Mr Battersby on December 27 and arranged to visit on January 2, but there was no response when they arrived at the door.

The social worker “made inquiries at other addresses where the child could be” and contacted the police.

A second unannounced visit on January 4 also went unanswered, and Lincolnshire Police were contacted again.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating Lincolnshire Police’s actions before Mr Battersby and his son were found.