Alfie Lamb trial: Toddler crushed to death in car because mother's partner wanted to stretch legs, court told
A toddler was crushed to death by an electric car seat in south London because his mother’s boyfriend wanted to stretch his legs out in the front seat, a court has heard.
Three-year-old Alfie Lamb was squashed in the rear footwell of a blue Audi convertible by Stephen Waterson, 25, from Croydon, jurors at the Old Bailey have been told.
Prosecutors said that as he cried and made chocking noises, his mother Adrian Hoare told Alfie to be quiet.
Hoare, 23, also from Croydon, and Waterson are both on trial accused of manslaughter.
Emilie Williams, 19, was sitting next to Hoare in the back of the car during the ill-fated trip back from a shopping trip in Sutton, south London, on February 1 last year.
In a police interview, Miss Williams said they all went together, with Marcus Lamb, 22, driving.
She said she was forced to put a second youngster in the rear footwell next to Alfie because she was not allowed to take the children’s car seat.
Miss Williams said: “Alfie was crying so much it sounded like he was choking”, but that his mother said he was OK.
“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.”
Waterson said no “because he said he had to stretch his legs right out”, Miss Williams said.
“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 Hoare told her Alfie was only crying because he was “getting himself worked up”. When he went quiet she thought he had gone to sleep, the court heard.
“As we was pulling up, she tried to wake Alfie up. She told him not to be silly. She thought he was just mucking around,” she added.
When Waterson took Alfie out of the car, the child was looking “pale” and not moving, the witness said.
Afterwards, 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.
Hoare was “going along with it and helping”, she added.
Hoare denies manslaughter, child cruelty and common assault on Miss Williams.
Waterson has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and intimidation of Mr Lamb.
The couple and Williams have pleaded guilty to conspiring to pervert the course of justice by making false statements to police.
The trial continues.
Additional reporting by Press Association