A HEARTBROKEN couple have paid tribute to their “perfect” baby boy after her choked to death at a nursery.
Zoey and Lewis Steeper said that their nine-month-old baby Oliver was “the best baby you could ever have wished for” and was “just perfect”.
4Oliver Steeper died six days after choking while at nurseryCredit: Triangle News4An inquest ruled that he died of a brain injury and a heart attackCredit: Triangle NewsOliver died of a brain injury and heart attack, six days after choking on food at Jelly Beans Day Nursery in Ashford, Kent, in September 2021.
Tragic photos show him in his hospital bed on life support.
His parents have now been told by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that criminal charges will not be pursued against the nursery, which closed permanently after the horror.
However, Zoey, 32, and Lewis, 37, have asked for that decision to be reviewed.
They posted a statement to the Oliver Steeper Foundation website, saying: “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 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.”
They added that they were also disappointed by Ofsted’s handling of the case.
An inquest into the tragedy found Oliver’s cause of death to be a brain injury and heart attack, but was adjourned pending the outcome of investigations.
The couple, who have since had another child, say they are grateful for “another chance” at parenthood but remain determined in their campaign against relaxing teacher-child ratios in nurseries.
Lewis said: “After losing Oliver in an early years setting, we feel it’s our duty now to protect other children from people who are trying to overhaul the sector.
“These are members of parliament who will never put their own children into a local nursery because of their wealth and privileges; who simply don’t live in the real world the rest of us do and don’t bat an eyelid at the cost of childcare.”
A spokesperson for Kent Police said that following a “thorough investigation” no further action would be taken.
The case has been filed and the force is preparing a report for the coroner.
A spokesperson for the CPS said: “After a careful review of all the evidence, we concluded that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for either suspect.
“Oliver’s death was a tragedy, and we understand how difficult it must have been for his family to hear our decision. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.”
On the request for a review from Oliver parents, they added: “We will now conduct a further, full independent review of all the evidence. It would not be appropriate to comment further until the review has been completed.”
4His parents, Zoey and Lewis, have asked the CPS to review their decision not to pursue criminal charges in the caseCredit: Triangle News4The couple are also campaigning against the relaxation of teacher-child ratios in nurseriesCredit: Triangle News
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk