A toddler in London was crushed to death by a car’s passenger seat because his mother’s boyfriend was annoyed that he was making too much noise, a prosecutor told a U.K. court.
Three-year-old Alfie Lamb was in the rear footwell of the car when he was squashed “at the touch of a button” on Feb. 1, 2018, the court was told.
Stephen Waterson, 25, who was in the front passenger seat, allegedly pushed his seat back twice in anger at the “noise and fuss.”
Alfie’s mother, Adrian Hoare, 23, who was in the seat behind her son, is charged with manslaughter alongside Waterson.
The driver, Marcus Lamb, 22, and his then-girlfriend, 19-year-old Emilie Williams, who was in the back seat with Hoare, are due to give evidence against the couple.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson said a pathologist found that the boy had died from crush asphyxia.
“It was caused by the front passenger seat of the Audi vehicle, Waterson’s seat, being moved back further into the rear passenger side footwell at a time when, as was known, Alfie was in that footwell,” Atkinson said.
“In effect, he was squashed by the car seat and suffocated.”
Hoare had a duty of care to Alfie but did “nothing” to help him, Atkinson also charged.
Both defendants went on to lie to police about what happened, the court heard.
An ambulance and police had been called to Adams Way in Croydon in south London on the evening of Feb. 1 to investigate a report of an unresponsive child.
Police found closed-circuit TV footage that showed that Hoare, Williams, Lamb and Waterson had all traveled together to Adams Way in a dark Audi car.
Hoare is also accused of attacking Williams, while Waterson allegedly fought with Lamb. Hoare has denied charges of manslaughter, child cruelty and common assault on Williams. Waterson has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and intimidation of Lamb.
The couple and Williams have pleaded guilty to conspiring to pervert the course of justice by making false statements to police.
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