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Crown Prosecution Service decision...

Final decision from the CPS.

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On the 9th December 2022 at 1800 we received the news that the Crown Prosecution Service had reached a decision on the criminal case and investigation into the death of our beloved son Oliver Keith Steeper who died following choking on food whilst in the trusted care of Jelly Beans Day Nursery in Ashford, Kent in September 2021.

Whilst the initial investigation concluded that the nursery’s policies and procedures were ‘of poor quality and inconsistent’ no accountability for our son’s tragic and avoidable death will prevail at this moment in time.  We have serious concerns as to whether or not management chose to ignore ratio guidelines, on a day of high staff sickness, therefore operating without ratio and paediatric first aid forefront. This will be forever engraved into our hearts as a constant pain.

We are hugely disappointed and shocked at the initial decision, but we are far from deterred. 

We have now instructed specialist solicitors Leigh Day, who have lodged our appeal with the Crown Prosecution Service. We will leave no stone unturned as we feel that many key aspects of what happened on that day have been missed or ignored by the CPS.

  

Medical consultants who performed two bronchoscopies on Oliver stated he was given ‘a substantial amount of food, inappropriate for his age’ which was not pureed, and we are concerned no thought was given into the stage of his development whilst eating despite the nursery being informed, he was only just starting on pureed foods.

 

We are disappointed and still in disbelief having been told that OFSTED did not investigate Oliver’s death as the regulator as when the nursery handed back their registration to OFSTED two days before they were due to be inspected following being closed permanently due to concerns of serious safeguarding following the incident involving Oliver.

 

OFSTED did not visit the setting as the company was no longer a registered provider. We are dismayed that despite being a registered provider at the time of the incident nothing was done even to look forward and preventing future incidents.

Lewis & Zoe Steeper - 02/02/23

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