A little boy cried out “Mummy” as he was deliberately crushed to death by his mum’s boyfriend who pushed his car seat back to punish him for being too noisy, a court heard today.
Alfie Lamb was just three years old when he was squashed “at the touch of a button” in the rear footwell of the Audi in February last year, the Old Bailey was told.
Stephen Waterson, 25, who was in the front passenger seat, allegedly reversed his seat back twice in anger at the “noise and fuss” as the tot sobbed, “Mummy, Mummy.”
Alfie’s mum, Adrian Hoare, 23, who was in the seat behind with her son, allegedly did nothing to help her stricken child and is charged with manslaughter alongside Mr Waterson.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said a pathologist found the “smiley boy” died from crush asphyxia, before claiming the couple repeatedly lied to cover up the crime.
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.”
He said Alfie showed signs of breathing problems and then “went ominously quiet”.
Ms Hoare had a duty of care to Alfie but did “nothing” to help him, Mr Atkinson said.
Marcus Lamb, 22, who was driving the Audi A4 at the time, told police how Alfie collapsed on the way back from the shops with his then-girlfriend Emilie Williams, 19, and the defendants.
He described how Ms Hoare had been shouting at Alfie, who was screaming and crying, before she allegedly slapped him.
Mr Lamb claimed he only realised there was a problem when they arrived in Croydon, south London on the evening of February 1, 2018.
When Mr Waterson pulled Alfie out of the car, Ms Hoare said, “What have you done?” Mr Lamb claimed.
An ambulance and police were called but the court heard it was “immediately obvious” that Alfie had been dead for some time.
The jury was told Mr Waterson later wrote to Ms Hoare in messages: “I feel sick to my stomach, they must be able to do something?
“I love you to pieces. Our little Tarzan is going to get through this.”
Later that day, activity on Mr Waterson’s phone showed he was trying to sell the Audi and he later accepted £800 in cash for it.
The court heard 11 days after Alfie’s death Mr Waterson sent more text messages to Ms Hoare saying he would “take the blame”.
Mr Atkinson QC said: “On February 15, Waterson sent a message to Hoare which read, ‘I say this I love you Adrian more than anything and I want this be (sic) with me and u blame me for it all.
“I understand as I ain’t perfect but I do anything for you am here if u want me police are gonna come talk to me spoken to officers and I gonna take blame for all.
“U were great mum and although we had ups and downs a (sic) amazing girl to me please never forget this.’”
Paramedic Jason Sammut told the Old Bailey when he and a colleague arrived at the scene, Mr Lamb was giving Alfie CPR on the ground by a car park.
He said: “The boy was in cardiac arrest, he wasn’t breathing.
“My main focus was on the child but I did try to speak to the lady, who I believe was his mum.
“She was very panicked and distressed.
“I think she said something along the lines of, ‘I can’t tell them what happened, I’m going to have to tell them what happened.’
“She later said that the child had been asleep in a cab and when they arrived at the location they couldn’t wake him up.”
Mr Sammut said it was not until he examined Alfie in the ambulance that he noticed burst blood vessels around his eyes.
Fellow paramedic Karl Baxter said Alfie “looked very pale and waxen”.
Mr Lamb and Ms Williams are due to give evidence against the couple.
The court heard that since Alfie’s death, Mr Lamb has allegedly been attacked by Mr Waterson and Ms Williams by Ms Hoare.
Ms Hoare denies manslaughter, child cruelty, as well as common assault on Ms Williams.
Mr Waterson has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter as well as intimidation of Mr Lamb.
The trial continues.
The couple, from Croydon, and Ms Williams have pleaded guilty to conspiring to pervert the course of justice by making false statements to police.
Source: The Sun