Stephen Waterson cried out “What have I done?” after crushing his girlfriend’s toddler to death with his car seat, a court has heard as the heartbreaking Alfie Lamb case continues.
Three and a half year old Alfie was sitting at his mother’s feet in the rear footwell of an Audi convertible, when he was squashed by Waterson on the journey home from a shopping trip on 1 February last year.
‘Bawling out tears’
Waterson called 999 after the toddler collapsed in the back of the car, but left the scene before paramedics arrived and burst into tears in his flat in Croydon, south London, the Old Bailey was told.
The 25 year old is on trial for Alfie’s manslaughter, alongside the boy’s mother, Adrian Hoare (23), who allegedly did nothing to stop the incident.
The toddler was allegedly squashed in the rear footwell when Waterson twice reversed his front passenger seat because he was annoyed at the noise he was making.
A pathologist found the ‘smiley boy’ died from crush asphyxia.
Waterson’s stepbrother Marcus Lamb, 22, who had been driving the car, told jurors, “He started bawling out tears, saying something like ‘What have I done?'”
Giving evidence from behind a screen, Mr Lamb described the incident which took place travelling back from Sutton to Croydon on a trip to buy birthday presents.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC asked, “How was Adrian treating Alfie when they were shopping?”
Mr Lamb responded, “Quite bad, to be honest.
“If he tripped up, she would drag him up.”
The witness also described how the boy’s mother was “screaming at him”.
‘Slapped around the head’
During the fateful journey home, Mr Lamb said he kept his eyes on the road, but could hear Alfie “screaming”.
“I think I heard him say ‘mummy’ – just heard people telling him to shut up,” Lamb said.
“Stephen – and Adrian told him once as well.
“Alfie did not be quiet and kept screaming.”
Mr Lamb also added that Hoare “slapped Alfie around the head” in a bid to stop the noise.
A short time before they reached Adams Way in Croydon, the toddler went quiet, the court heard.
When they arrived, Mr Lamb said, “He (Waterson) put his chair forward and asked Alfie to wake up and he did not respond so picked him up, and he were not responding, and Adrian got out of the car.
“He kept telling Alfie to ‘wake up, wake up, wake up’, so he shook him a little bit to try get him to respond.
“Adrian got out of the car and she started breaking down because Alfie was unresponsive.
“Stephen called the ambulance. Stephen started speaking to them and started CPR.
“Then he stopped giving CPR and passed the phone to me, and the ambulance man on the line was telling me how to do CPR because I never done it in my life.”
During the desperate effort to save Alfie, Waterson walked away and into his flat as the boy’s mother was comforted by her friend, Emilie Williams (19), who was holding the other young child travelling with them in her arms.
Mr Lamb said he had been disqualified from driving but Waterson “forced” him to get behind the wheel that day with “threats”.
Both children in the car had been put into the rear footwell, after Waterson allegedly refused to allow child seats.
Waterson is accused of intimidating Mr Lamb in the wake of Alfie’s death.
The court watched video footage found on Waterson’s mobile phone, showing Mr Lamb being attacked in a park where he appeared to scuffle with three men.
A voice could be heard shouting, “I will stamp on your face. Now talk.
“I will snap your jaw, Marcus. I’m a nasty piece of work. Stay on the floor. I will stamp in your head again.”
Mr Lamb was heard to repeatedly plead, “Get off me.”
He told the court Waterson was one of the men present and the video was filmed by Hoare, but he was “too scared of it happening again” to report it.
Waterson has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and intimidation of Mr Lamb.
Hoare also denies manslaughter, child cruelty and common assault on Miss Williams.
Waterson, Hoare and Williams have all pleaded guilty to conspiring to pervert the course of justice by making false statements to police.
The trial is currently still ongoing.