Alfie Lamb: Toddler ‘deliberately’ crushed by car seat because mother’s boyfriend wanted to stretch out his legs, court hears


A toddler was deliberately crushed by an electric car seat because his mother’s boyfriend wanted to stretch his legs in the front, a court has been told. 

Three-year-old Alfie Lamb was squashed to death while sitting in the footwell in the back of a blue Audi convertible by Stephen Waterson, the Old Bailey heard.

As Alfie choked and cried, his mother, Adrian Hoare, allegedly told her son to be quiet. 

Ms Hoare, 23 and Mr Waterson, 25, from south London, are on trial accused of manslaughter – a charge they both deny.

CCTV images showed that Ms Hoare, Mr Waterson, Marcus Lamb, 22, and his girlfriend Emilie Williams, 19, had all travelled together in the Audi in February last year.

Alfie and a second child accompanied the two couples, but as there were no car seats the children sat in the footwells. 

Ms Williams who was sitting next to Ms Hoare in the back of the car said “Alfie was crying so much it sounded like he was choking”, but that his mother said he was okay.

“Marcus’s chair was right forward and Stephen’s chair was right back,” she said. 

“Alfie was kicking the chair, asking him to move it forward.”

Mr Waterson said no “because he said he had to stretch his legs right out”, Miss Williams told the court.

“He had enough room but he wanted to stretch them out because his legs are quite long. He moved it forward once but only for a few seconds, only a little bit but it gave Alfie more room.

“Adrian just kept telling him to be quiet and they would be home soon. Like ‘We will be home soon, shut up’.”

Miss Williams said Ms Hoare told her Alfie was only crying because he was “getting himself worked up”.

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When he went quiet she thought he had gone to sleep, the court heard.

Miss Williams said: “As we were pulling up, she tried to wake Alfie up. She told him not to be silly. She thought he was just mucking around.”

When Mr Waterson took Alfie out of the car, the child was looking “pale” and not moving, the witness said.

Afterwards Mr Waterson threatened Miss Williams as he tried to persuade her to lie about what happened, jurors were told.

“He was telling me a lot of things. He said he would put me in the boot of the car and get rid of me. He said he would kill me,” she said.

Ms Hoare was “going along with it and helping”, she added.

Alfie was taken to hospital by the emergency services and put on life support, which was switched off days later. 

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said a pathologist found Alfie had died from crush asphyxia. 

He said: “In effect, he was squashed by the car seat and suffocated. This movement of the seat was a deliberate action by Waterson who knew that Alfie was there and was angered by the noise and fuss that the three-and-a half-year-old was making during the fateful car journey. 

“The deliberate movement of the seat, by electrical operation – by the touch of a button – and involving the application of considerable force to Alfie took place not once but twice.

“Waterson was prevailed on to move the seat forward again because it became immediately obvious that it was causing Alfie breathing difficulties. 

“However, when Alfie made noise again, Waterson deliberately moved his seat back again, and kept it in that reversed position, squashing Alfie, as he again showed signs of breathing problems until he went ominously quiet.”

Since Alfie’s death, the other occupants of the car have been attacked, Ms Williams by Ms Hoare and Mr Lamb by Mr Waterson, the court was told.

Ms Hoare denies manslaughter, child cruelty and common assault on Ms Williams.

Mr Waterson has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and intimidation of Mr Lamb.

The couple and Ms Williams have pleaded guilty to conspiring to pervert the course of justice by making false statements to police.

The trial continues.

Agencies contributed to this report 

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2019-01-16 22:01:00
Image credit: source


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