First images of children found dead at home in Bristol

UK

The first pictures of children found dead in what police have described as a “deeply distressing” incident at a home in Bristol have emerged.

The three who died have been named by police as siblings, Fares Bash, aged seven, Joury Bash, aged three, and nine-month-old Mohammed Bash.

It comes after officers were called to Blaise Walk in the Sea Mills area of northwest Bristol at 12.40am on Sunday after receiving a “concern for welfare call”.

A 42-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Police forensic tent at the scene in Blaise Walk
Pic:PA
Image:
Police at the scene.
Pic: PA

Police at the scene in Blaise Walk, in Sea Mills, Bristol.
Pic: PA
Image:
Pic: PA

She remains in police custody in hospital, where she is in a “non-life threatening condition”.

Dan Whitehead, Sky News’ west of England correspondent, said it is understood the seven-year-old was a pupil at Sea Mills Primary School, which decided not to open until the afternoon on Monday, the first day back after half-term.

He said a local playgroup also delayed opening following the incident.

Chief Inspector Vicks Hayward-Melen from Avon and Somerset Police said the incident was an “isolated incident” and that there was no threat to the wider community.

She said post-mortems would be held to establish the causes of death of the children. They are likely to be completed by the end of this week.

“The death of such young children is a great shock to the whole community, and this incident has had a profound impact on all of us in the police,” Chief Insp Hayward-Melen added.

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“We’ve been humbled by the community response to this tragedy. At a time of great sadness and disbelief, we’ve seen spontaneous acts of care and support.

“Within hours of the incident occurring, a local church was opened up for people to gather and mourn. This is what being in a community is all about and we’d like to thank all those who continue to offer this important and selfless service.”

Chief Inspector Vicks Hayward-Melen speaking to the media near to the scene in Blaise Walk, in Sea Mills, Bristol, where a woman was arrested on suspicion of murder after three children were found dead at a property on Sunday. Picture date: Monday February 19, 2024. PA Photo. Avon and Somerset Police officers attended a concern for welfare call on Sunday and found the young children inside the property and pronounced dead a short time later. A 42-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of murder and is in police custody at hospital. See PA story POLICE SeaMills. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
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Chief Inspector Vicks Hayward-Melen. Pic: PA

‘We are all shocked’

On Monday, members of the Sudanese community gathered at the Sea Mills Methodist Church to pay their respects to the children, which is around the corner from where the incident took place.

Salwa Bashar, a family friend from Bristol, said: “I have known this family for over six years now.

“They are part of our community, they’re family friends. She and her husband are a very big part of our community.

“I was shocked (when I heard the news). I was really, really sad, I still am very sad.

“The Sudanese community, not just in Bristol but across the UK, are shocked as well.”

The children were found in Blaise Walk, Bristol
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Police at the scene. Pic: PA

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has been alerted to the incident because there was “prior police contact earlier this month”.

An IOPC spokesperson said earlier on Monday: “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.”

A heavy police presence remains in the area, with a cordon still in place next to the house on Blaise Walk.

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