The sister of a two-year-old boy who starved to death while trapped in a flat said she does not blame social services for his death.

Bronson Battersby and his father Kenneth, 60, were found dead on Jan 9 in the basement of their flat in Skegness, Lincolnshire, two weeks after they were last seen. The father is thought to have suffered a heart attack, according to neighbours.

Melanie Battersby said she believed “social services and the police did what they could within their powers”.

Lincolnshire County Council said that a social worker called the property for a scheduled visit on Jan 2, but after receiving no response, she spoke with her manager and police. The social worker returned two days later and again on Jan 9, then alerted Battersby’s landlady and gained entry.

Ms Battersby, 37, told BBC Radio 4: “I don’t place any blame at all on them. I believe that social services and the police did what they could within their powers and the information they were given.

“I’m glad that an inquiry will occur into whether there were any failings or missed opportunities. I’m happy that is going to take place.”

She added: “It must be devastating for them to work in that profession, to deal with tragedies like this.”

The council has launched a rapid review into the deaths, and Lincolnshire Police has referred itself to the independent watchdog. The National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel will have 15 days to decide on the next steps.

Ms Battersby, who lives in Sheffield, said she last saw Bronson on a family holiday to Butlins and suggested there “could’ve been a different outcome for my baby brother”.

“Every time I saw him, he was happy, he was smiling, he learned to walk, he was learning to speak,” she said. “We’re devastated as a whole family.”