Reid Steele: Toddler found unconscious in bath water at Bridgend home, inquest hears

A toddler was found submerged in bath water at the family home in Bridgend, an inquest heard.

Natalie Steele, 31, of Broadlands, is accused of the murder of her two-year-old son Reid Steele, who was described as "super, super-happy" by his family.

The inquest heard Reid was found unconscious by his grandmother after being apparently drowned in the bathwater.

The coroner's officer said: "Reid was found by his grandmother unresponsive on the bathroom floor at his home address after being found submersed in the bath water.

"Emergency services were alerted immediately, and he was transported to the University Hospital of Wales."

Natalie Steele. Credit: Media Wales

Reid was found at 7.30pm in August at the family home in Broadlands, Bridgend. The hearing was told he was pronounced dead the next day on August 12.

The inquest in Pontypridd was adjourned to await the outcome of criminal proceedings.

Carpet company worker Natalie Steele has been remanded in custody to appear in Cardiff Crown Court on November 26.

In a tribute, Reid's family said: "He was a super, super-happy, gorgeous, wonderful and intelligent little boy who lit up everyone’s lives. He loved the garden and the beach, picking raspberries and going for walks collecting shells.

"He was a very chatty little boy and would happily speak to anyone."

The toddler, just two months away from his third birthday when he died, was described by relatives as a treasured and "perfect" nephew, grandson, great-grandson and cousin.

The family are trying to raise money for the Noah's Ark children's unit at the Cardiff hospital where he spent his last night.

University Hospital Wales, in Cardiff. Credit: Media Wales

The family said: "Reid was honestly the most energetic, happy, intelligent, beautiful and loved child we have ever met. He was able to count to 10 in three languages.

"He frequently asked 'Are you okay?' whenever he spoke to anyone because he cared for everything and everyone.

"His favourite things were Bob the Builder, Winnie the Pooh and the Heffalump, the beach, shells and pebbles, diggers, flowers and nature. Reid lit up everyone’s lives. He adored the songs You Are My Sunshine, This Little Light of Mine and Bob the Builder.

"We miss him with every fibre of our beings. Reid never experienced evil or pain in his little life, he was so adored by all of us. We miss him every single day. He was the most beautiful and precious angel to grace the earth. If anyone of you were able to have met him in his short life, you will understand exactly what we mean."

His family continued: "Sadly, he lost his fight on August 12. We cannot put into words how utterly amazing the staff were at the ward. They allowed Reid’s grandparents to stay overnight to be close to him and supplied a care package for them including a t-shirt, toothbrush etc.

"They allowed all six of us to visit him in pairs whilst he fought for his life. We will never be able to express our appreciation of how amazing they were. They did everything they possibly could to save his life and went above and beyond to ensure we were all supported the whole time. They allowed us in a separate room to grieve and had a room for us to eat and drink if we so needed.

Reid was taken to hospital from an address in the Broadland's area of Bridgend

"We want to raise as much money as we can in Reid’s memory for Noah’s Ark, he would’ve loved this. His favourite story was also Noah’s Ark so it seems very fitting to fundraise for this charity. Any donations will make a huge difference to all of the other families and children needing care. Thank you so much."

Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Matt Davies, said: “This is a harrowing case for all concerned and my thoughts go out to Reid’s family who continue to be supported by specially trained officers.

“Legal proceedings are now live, and whilst I appreciate there are concerns in the community, I would urge people to refrain from speculating on social media. Our investigation continues, and anybody who thinks they may have relevant information is urged to make contact. The family respectfully ask to be left to grieve at this difficult time.”