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Three children including baby found dead in Bristol died of knife injuries

Fares Bash, his sister Joury Bash and their baby brother Mohammed Bash were all found dead at a property in Sea Mills

Holly Evans,Jane Dalton
Friday 23 February 2024 18:39 GMT
Police say deaths of three children in Bristol a 'deeply distressing tragedy'

Three siblings found dead at a house in Bristol died of knife injuries, police have revealed.

Seven-year-old Fares Bash, three-year-old Joury Bash and nine-month-old Mohammed Bash were found dead at a property in the Sea Mills area of the city on Sunday.

Police were called to their semi-detached house in Blaise Walk at around 12.40am on Sunday after a member of the public called with concerns for their welfare.

Joury (left), Mohammed (top) and Fares Bash were found dead in their home (Supplied)

A 42-year-old woman was arrested at the scene and is being treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, Avon and Somerset Police said.

The deaths of the three siblings have rocked the Sea Mills community, prompting the closure on Monday of the local primary school and playgroup.

The children were part of the city’s Sudanese community, whose members gathered at the Sea Mills Methodist Church throughout the day on Monday to support one another.

Salwa Bashar, who knew the family, said she felt that various organisations, including the police, had let the family down, and added that the community wanted answers as to how this had happened.

Forensics officers at the scene in Blaise Walk in Sea Mills, Bristol, on Monday afternoon (The Independent)

She told The Independent: “They were very happy children, very bubbly, especially the eldest child.

“He was a remarkable boy, not just an ordinary boy – he was amazing, intelligent, always trying to help you out, always asking if you were OK.

“He’s so young but he’s like an adult, and he’s very curious about everything, trying to figure everything out.”

Salwa Bashar paid tribute to the three children, particularly the eldest whom she called ‘remarkable’ (The Independent)

She added: “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. They were just lovely people and were always smiling. She’s very friendly and he’s also really friendly.

“I was shocked – I didn’t want to believe it, I didn’t want it to be true. I was, I still am in shock. 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.”

A police forensics tent at the house (PA)

Forensics officers were seen walking in and out of the property.

David Richards, a neighbour, said he had heard loud banging noises but was unable to see anything when he went to check.

“The next day we found out all this had happened,” he said. “We have never had this sort of thing down here before, it’s usually a very quiet area. It’s unusual.”

Fares Bash has been described as a ‘remarkable boy’ (Facebook)

Chief Inspector Vicks Hayward-Melen of Avon and Somerset Police said: “The amount of time we can legally keep a person in custody does not start until they are brought into a police station, so will not include any periods of time spent in hospital.

“Our investigation, led by the major crime investigation team, is progressing at pace and we’re carrying out comprehensive enquiries to establish the events which led to this devastating loss of life.

“The main cordons put in place in Blaise Walk have been lifted and we would like to take this opportunity to thank local residents for their patience and support while we carried out a thorough investigation at the scene.”

Chief Inspector Vicks Hayward-Melen speaks to the press (PA)

She said police believe this to be an isolated incident, with no risk to the wider community.

“The death of such young children is a great shock to the whole community, and this incident has had a profound and deep impact on all of us in the police,” she said.

“We’ll be making sure all those involved in the response and the subsequent investigation are given any welfare support they may need.”

Avon and Somerset Police have referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog over prior contact with the family.

An IOPC spokesperson said 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.”

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