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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Burglars broke into Bronson Battersby’s Skegness home after his and father Kenneth's bodies were found

Heartless burglars broke into the Skegness home shared by two-year-old Bronson Battersby and his father just hours after their bodies were found there.

Bronson is understood to have tragically starved to death after his father Kenneth, 60, suffered a fatal heart attack.

Their bodies were discovered at their home in Prince Alfred Avenue, Skegness, around 3.25pm on January 9.

Police have since confirmed thieves broke into the basement flat in the days after, stealing Kenneth's wallet and medication, according to MailOnline.

Lincolnshire Police confirmed it is investigating a report of a burglary in Prince Alfred Avenue, which happened sometime between January 10 and 12.

The landlady of the building said the thieves broke in a day after the bodies were found, on January 10, The Sun reports.

Bronson Battersby (facebook)

"It was just a day after Kenny and Bronson had been found dead in the living room," she told the news outlet. "It makes you despair really, how low can people stoop?"

Appealing for information about the break-in, a Lincolnshire Police spokesperson said: "The incident took place sometime between the 10 January and the 12 January.

"The offenders are thought to have used a bedroom window to gain entry. Our investigations are ongoing."

The police watchdog on Thursday confirmed it will investigate whether there were "missed opportunities" that could have prevented the tragic deaths.

Derrick Campbell, regional director for watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), described the circumstances of Bronson and his father's deaths as "truly shocking".

"It is appropriate we carry out an independent investigation to consider the police response to any prior welfare concerns that were raised," he said.

"We will be examining whether there were any missed opportunities by police to check on Mr Battersby and Bronson sooner."We will be in contact with Bronson's mother and Mr Battersby's family in due course to explain our role and how our investigation will progress."

Bronson's heartbroken mother Sarah Piesse, 43, earlier on Thursday paid an emotional tribute to the toddler, describing him as "all smiles".

She said the family had only just moved Bronson’s snacks from a lower cupboard – to stop him from helping himself treats.

Ms Piesse told The Sun Bronson was "a typical, cheeky, little two-year-old".

"He was always trying to get his favourite pink wafers. And then when we said no more, he’d smile and shout, ‘Yeah! More, more, more!’

Bronson with his mum, Sarah Piesse (Facebook / Sarah Louise Piesse)

“Kenny moved all the snacks higher up so he couldn’t get to them without asking. Now all I can think of in my head is him, starving, reaching up and trying to get them. I can’t bear it.

“He was about two inches off being able to reach the fridge to open it. His last moments were spent alone and he must have been so thirsty and hungry. He will have been crying. He will have been so confused."

Ms Piesse previously said Bronson was “two inches too short to reach the fridge”, and said she was haunted by images of him hungry and trying to reach food after his 60-year-old father Kenneth died around New Year.

A social worker from Lincolnshire County Council had tried on two occasions – January 2 and 4 – to visit Mr Battersby and Bronson but got no answer, alerting Lincolnshire Police both times.

Five days later, she arranged a key from the property’s landlord and discovered the two bodies, with Bronson clutching the legs of his father.

Landlady Ms Clifton-Plaice told the MailOnline that one of the tenants living above the Battersbys said she had heard Bronson crying out for his father early on New Year's Day.

“She said she heard a little boy repeatedly say ‘daddy’ as if he was trying to wake him up” at around 4am, Ms Clifton-Plaice said.

The tenant also reported the sound of pots and pans clashing in the kitchen which “may have been Skylar the dog rummaging for food”.

They believe they might have heard Mr Battersby shouting at Skylar, a boxer who managed to survive the ordeal, on New Year’s Eve but the resident is not sure of this.

The last time Ms Piesse saw her son was in November because, after an argument with Mr Battersby, she had tried to “back off a bit and give him space”.

Ms Piesse and Mr Battersby, who also share a three-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son, had an on-off relationship after splitting up in 2019.

They decided Bronson would live with his father because Ms Piesse’s home has a high staircase with no bannister. Mr Battersby also had a “special bond” with his youngest son.

Matt Warman, Conservative MP for Boston and Skegness, said the news of Bronson’s death has “shocked the nation", particularly in the seaside town where they lived.

He said the tragedy "should make everyone consider what could have been done differently", and urged those involved to conclude their investigations into Bronson’s death “as rapidly as possible”.

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