Family’s fight for answers two years after tot’s death

James Ratcliffe still wants answers about how his granddaughter  died nearly two years after her death
James Ratcliffe still wants answers about how his granddaughter died nearly two years after her death

“Summer trusted us when she was alive, so she has got to trust us now she is dead”.

Those were the words of the Ratcliffe family as it battles tirelessly to get answers after the death of granddaughter Summer Mai Rogers-Ratcliffe – the “beautiful” toddler whose death remains unexplained more than two years later.

Little Summer was admitted to hospital in February 2012 with what numerous medical experts have described as a ‘non-accidental trauma’ caused by ‘blunt force’ to her head. She died hours later. But two years on, the Ratcliffe family, of Frank Lane, Thornhill, still have no answers as to how she died.

Last July, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there insufficient evidence to bring charges against any individual.

The 21-month-old was in the care of her mother, Victoria Rogers, and her ex-partner, at the time. Ms Rogers had split from Summer’s dad, Joss. Now Summer’s paternal grandad James, along with her grandma Deborah and Joss, is stepping up a campaign to find out exactly what happened.

Mr Ratcliffe said: “Every corner we try to turn to get answers, the door gets shut in our face. There is no feeling like it. “It is an absolute scandal that two years down the line and still we have no answers as to why Summer died.

“We now need to shout about this from the highest point we can.” Mr Ratcliffe has set up a Facebook page – Justice for Summer Mai – and an online petition calling on the CPS to review the decision now has more than 2,000 signatures. The family is also calling on people to donate £1 to support a leaflet campaign to garner more publicity. “There is a child dead,” said Mr Ratcliffe. “I have spent two years being quiet, waiting for the supposed authorities to come up with an answer.”

An inquest into Summer’s death was opened and adjourned in May 2012. It has not yet resumed.

Mr Ratcliffe claims he was told by the Coroners’ Office that they were “really busy”. He added: “In January they said it would be soon – it has been two years.”

Dewsbury Coroners’ did not want to comment.

Mr Ratcliffe also spoke of the hole left in the heart of the family since Summer’s death.

He said: “Summer was everything to us. She was so full of joy and gave everything a go – she was beautiful.

“Do you know what it’s like to see your wife crying every day? If you wanted the definition of someone who is dying from a broken heart, that would be my wife.”

Last year, Kirklees Council said a serious case review was ongoing and that it would be inappropriate to comment. A spokeswoman added this week: “We would not comment further at this time.”

To donate to Summer’s publicity campaign go to