THE MOTHER of baby Patrick Bradley, who died at the hands of her former partner, feels she lost the 10-week-old boy because social services did not properly scrutinise her son’s killer.

Kirsty Bradley spoke out after a serious case review, which was published yesterday suggested she had misled health professionals about the nature of the family set-up.

Former partner Paul Rich was jailed last year after admitting manslaughter. Bristol Crown Court heard Rich had squeezed Patrick, shaken him and thrown him into his Moses basket. The innocent youngster died four days later as a result of brain injuries sustained in the assault.

Responding to the serious case review, Miss Bradley said: “I do strongly feel that I lost Patrick because of social services not properly looking into Paul Rich’s past.

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Patrick Bradley Picture: Family

“I’m sure that if social services had delved into his past they would have found something on him.

“Social services’ attention was seemingly just on me, in that I was subjected to things no child should ever be subjected to - but that in no way defined me as a parent. I think if nothing else it made me more aware of the world we live in today.

Read more: Safeguarding review into Swindon baby Patrick's death

Read more: 'Paul Rich deserves to see out his remaining days behind bars'

“I wish I could have seen through Rich. He looked good on paper but then he soon showed his true colours, with him being very controlling and very manipulative.” She claimed he hired escorts.

Miss Bradley's partner and Patrick’s father, Gwyn Best, added: “On the whole we feel nothing has been helped at all by this case review, as not enough or appropriate questions have been asked or answered.

“How could social services have deemed someone as such a low risk yet be capable of such horrendous actions?

“There are so many little mistruths that have been put in this report to seemingly make them look all the better.”

Patrick's parents have responded to a number of the points raised in the serious case review.

You can read the review here.

Baby steps

A referral was made to Baby Steps by the community midwife (to provide early help and support to parents) who visited [Kirsty Bradley] at home to introduce her to the programme, then assigned her to a group. [Kirsty] attended one session with [Gwyn Best], who she introduced as a ‘friend’. Following the session, which they left early, [Kirsty] texted the group to state she would not be returning. The community midwife was informed.

Miss Bradley said: “Baby Steps, I was led to believe, was for first time parents. I did not get anything out of going to it and I didn’t feel I could connect with anyone who was in attendance.”

She said she felt like she was able to gain more from a class for expectant mothers in her particular circumstances.


[Kirsty], [Paul Rich], and [Gwyn] were all known to a number of hospital staff in the two locations [GWH and another hospital] following the premature birth of the twins, who spent six weeks in hospital. After giving birth some issues were identified with [Kirsty’s] unusual behaviour. She ‘went missing’ on several occasions, was absent from ward rounds, and self-discharged herself against medical advice. This information was not shared with staff responsible for the twins.

Miss Bradley responded: “With regards to ‘going missing’ I was quite horrified at the dreadful food menu I had tolerate whilst being an inpatient at the hospital I ended up giving birth to the twins, so my partner and I used to go for lunch and sometimes dinner in the on site M&S cafe of which my partner and I did make staff aware departing the ward but I feel this amongst many other things has been blown hugely out of proportion.”

Rooming in

The Discharge Planning Meeting [at SCBU] was well attended by health professionals, and it was recommended that the parents ‘room in.’ They were reluctant but did so for two nights, which meant that they did all the care giving for the twins. They were discharged the following day.

“The room in question had no window and was exceptionally stuffy this isn’t a place you would choose to sleep that’s for sure! I do not like confined spaces with no windows I never have and never will. I felt the whole ‘room in’ thing was utterly ridiculous, there was just no point to it in my opinion. I was so relieved when my stay in that room came to an end," Miss Bradley said.

Rich as a 'protective factor'

It appears [Paul Rich] was seen as a protective factor.

Gwyn Best said: “We are offended that there is no questioning of the initial assessment of Rich as being a positive safeguarding influence when he can so coldly kill a baby and then maintain a web of lies and deceit about his actions right up until the weekend before he was to face a murder trial.

“Someone cannot be a positive safeguarding influence and still be capable of what he has done.”

Read more: Paul Rich jailed for more than seven years

Read more: Senior detective's reaction to Rich's jailing

Mr Best claimed Kirsty had tried to leave Rich many times, but the older man had threatened her.

“It was an impossible situation and [Kirsty] was doing all she could to make the best of it. This overly zealous criticism from social services is what drove us to giving the mistruths that [Rich] was Patrick’s father and not myself,” Mr Best said.

“We felt that if it was to be known by the social services team that [Kirsty] had left [Rich] then they would move in without hesitation and remove [Patrick] without fair assessment or consideration.”

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He said: “In our opinion the report’s general emphasis is that they [the authorities] did a good job and the only thing they need to improve on is trying to catch out any parents that aren’t bowing down to kiss their boots.

“Our deception about the true paternity of Patrick was due to the unfair and exceptionally critical nature of how social services would have been in assessing [Kirsty] and myself as a new couple caring for all the children.

“As soon as we were being made aware that Patrick’s injuries were non-accidental we voluntarily put the record straight with who was really who in the household. It is not as though we were caught out in a lie.”

Mr Best hit back at a suggestion clothing taken to the special care baby unit at the Great Western Hospital smelled of cigarette smoke, saying the accusation had been made by a single member of staff.

“The clothing we were taking to SCBU were fresh out of the wash having been dried in a tumble drier, so how could they smell of smoke?” he asked.

He said the authors of the serious case review had written to the couple at their old address and tried to contact Ms Bradley on an old phone number. He alleged social services had both the couple’s new address and Ms Bradley’s new number.