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Man accused of crushing toddler Alfie Lamb to death ‘threatened to make mum disappear’ | UK News

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A man accused of crushing his girlfriend’s toddler with a car seat threatened to “make her disappear” if she revealed what happened, jurors have heard.

Stephen Waterson, 25, is alleged to have killed three-year-old Alfie Lamb in the footwell of an Audi convertible on 1 February last year when he kept pushing his chair backwards.

The Old Bailey heard Alfie’s mother Adrian Hoare, 23, then lied to police about what happened and claimed he went “floppy” after taking a lift in a friend’s Volkswagen Golf.

They had actually been returning home to Croydon, south London, after a shopping trip with Emilie Williams, 19, from Blackpool, and Waterson’s stepbrother Marcus Lamb, 22, the court has been told.

Hoare’s half-sister, Ashleigh Jeffrey, was determined to find out “the truth” and repeatedly pressed for information after hearing of the child’s death.

Ms Jeffrey told the court that the group appeared “shut off” and refused to answer her questions when they let off balloons in Alfie’s memory.

After visiting St Thomas’s Hospital to view the body, Ms Jeffrey accompanied her half-sister back to Waterson’s Croydon flat, where the group gathered.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC asked: “Did you have another go at finding out what happened to Alfie?”

Ms Jeffrey said: “I did try. This time they ended up having a bit of a debate in front of me about keeping up the lies they had already told.”

Waterson had warned everyone to keep up the pretence otherwise “he would make them disappear”, she said.

Jurors were told that on 15 February, Waterson “kicked off” and Hoare and Mr Lamb went to Ms Jeffrey’s house.

A court artist sketch of Stephen Waterson and Adrian Hoare
Image:
A court artist sketch of Stephen Waterson and Adrian Hoare

With Hoare’s knowledge, Ms Jeffrey recorded their conversation on her phone, which was replayed in court.

In the recording, Hoare could be heard saying that Alfie had been “whinging” on the journey in the car.

She was recorded saying: “Alfie was behind Stephen in between my legs. We had not been in the car that long, to be fair, and Alfie was whinging.

“He was just whinging. Stephen moved the chair back. I told him to move the chair forward. Emilie was like ‘he’s fine, he’s got room’ so he left the chair where it was.

“When we got out, Stephen went to lift him out of the car. He was floppy. Stephen thought he was f****** about.”

Ms Jeffrey kept asking why it had been “such a big secret” and everyone had to keep it “hush hush” for Waterson’s sake.

She told the court that she handed over the recording to police straight away.

In an interview with police on 3 February, Hoare told them she had moved in with her mother in Chatham, Kent, after Alfie’s father Richard Lamb burnt down their house.

Hoare denied knowing nightclub worker Waterson and said she was seeing a man called Stephen Marchant from Maidstone.

Hoare, Waterson and Williams have since pleaded guilty to conspiring to pervert the course of justice by making false statements to police.

Hoare denies Alfie’s manslaughter, child cruelty and common assault on Miss Williams.

Waterson, a father of two, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and intimidation of Mr Lamb.

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