Three siblings including a baby found dead in their home as woman, 42, is held on suspicion of their murder

Monday, February 19, 2024
 – Three siblings including a 10-month-old baby were found dead in a Bristol home in the UK.

Mohamed Al-Fil Bashh, aged ten months, died alongside his ten-year-old brother Fares, and seven-year-old sister Jory. A 42-year-old woman is held on suspicion of their murder.

Officers made the horrific discovery in the early hours of Sunday, February 18, after receiving a concern from a welfare call at a property on Blaise Walk, Sea Mills, at around 12.40am.

According to Mail Online, the children’s father has previously been arrested for domestic violence.

Speaking about the children, neighbour Salwa Bashar said: 'They were beautiful, happy kids. Always smiling. Fares in particular was very intelligent. He was curious about everything. I used to call him my smart boy. They were part of the Sudanese community, which is shocked at the news alongside the whole of Bristol.'

It comes as a poignant video emerged showing Fares singing and playing a red ukulele as his sister, Jory, dances in a pink fluffy hat. The young girl can also be seen beaming next to a cake.

Avon and Somerset Police said it had notified the Independent Office for Police Conduct about the incident because officers had had previous contact with the household. The IOPC said this contact had taken place earlier this month.

One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said of the mother: 'She was lovely, her kids were lovely, they were nice people. I think she was having a hard time with her newborn.'

The neighbour said that the two eldest children had attended the local Sea Mills primary school. The school announced it would remain closed this morning and reopen at 1.30pm.

A 42-year-old Bristol taxi driver said he had last seen the mother two weeks ago. He said: 'She was happy. Her kids were all happy.'

The man said the family were part of the Sudanese community in Bristol. He added: 'She is a very nice person. It is very sad.'

Others described the woman as 'really gentle' and 'really lovely' who 'always had a smile on her face'.

The force has not confirmed the name of the woman or her relationship to the children who were pronounced dead at the scene shortly after officers arrived at around 12.40am on Sunday. The children's cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

A heavy police presence remained in the area much of yesterday, with photos showing part of the road cordoned off, with multiple police cars and a forensic team on the scene.

A gathering at a local church was held in memory of the children last night, locals added, while a local playgroup announced it would be closed today.

Chief Inspector Vicks Hayward-Melen said in an update today: 'We were first called by a member of the public who was concerned for the welfare of the occupants early on Sunday the 18th of February. Officers arrived at about 12.40am and found three children whose lives could not be saved.

'Forensic post-mortem examinations will now be carried out on the children to establish the cause of death and it's important we don't give further detail on this until the proper processes have been carried out.

The post-mortem examinations are not likely to be completed until the middle to the end of this week at the earliest.

'Formal identification has not yet taken place, but we believe the victims are a boy aged seven, a girl of three and a 10-month-old boy. Their next of kin have been informed and are being given all the help and support they need by specialist family liaison officers.

'A 42-year-old woman was arrested at the scene and taken to hospital due to injuries she'd sustained. Her condition is not life-threatening, and she remains in police custody at this time.'

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West added on social media: 'I'm deeply saddened by this tragic news from Sea Mills.

'My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the children, and my thanks go to our emergency services who responded. Avon and Somerset Police will remain in the area but consider this to be an isolated incident.'

Local councillor Henry Michallat, who represents Sea Mills said: 'I am deeply shocked and saddened by the news coming from Sea Mills.

'My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the children at this sad and difficult time. I thank emergency service personnel who have responded.'

Avon and Somerset Police Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford added: 'I am deeply saddened by the news of the deaths of three children in Sea Mills.

'The deaths of these children is heartbreaking. My thoughts are with all those who knew and cared for these children and with the local community, who I know will be impacted.

'The police have made an arrest and believe this to be an isolated incident. They have assessed that there is no further risk to the wider community.

'There are questions to be asked about how such an appalling event has occurred and what could have been done to prevent it, but for now, I ask that people allow the police to investigate.'

A statement from Avon and Somerset Police said: 'Officers attended a concern for welfare call in Blaise Walk, in Sea Mills, on Sunday February 18 at around 12.40am.

'Tragically, three young children inside the property were pronounced dead a short time later.

'A 42-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder and she is in police custody at the hospital.

'As is usual in these circumstances we have notified the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), due to prior police contact.'

An IOPC spokesperson said: 'We were notified this afternoon about this tragic incident in Bristol by Avon and Somerset Police, who advised us that there had been prior police contact earlier this month.

'We have requested a paper referral with further information about the prior contact and once received, we will assess it to determine whether further action is required from us.' 

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