Who was Alfie Lamb and what happened to him?
THREE-year-old Alfie Lamb died when his mother's boyfriend crushed him to death in the footwell of his car because he wouldn't stop crying.
Stephen Waterson, 25, inflicted the senseless punishment on the little boy with a car seat in his Audi A4 in February 2018.
What happened to Alfie?
On February 1 last year, Alfie's mum Adrian Hoare, 24, and her boyfriend Waterson – the adopted the son of former conservative MP Nigel Waterson – went shopping for cushions in Sutton.
They were accompanied by Alfie, Emilie Williams, 19, Marcus Lamb, 22, and another young child.
CCTV footage showed Alfie running to keep up with his mum moments before he was put in the car for the journey back to Croydon, south London.
Waterson had become annoyed at Alfie's crying and twice moved his front passenger seat into him as he sat at his mother's feet.
The maximum space in the foot well was 30cm, and, at the touch of a button, that could be reduced to just 9.5cm.
Terrified Alfie screamed for his "mummy" but Hoare just slapped him and told him to "shut up" and told him "'I'm not being told what to do by a three-year-old" before again slamming his chair back.
By the time they arrived home, the boy, who had previously travelled in the footwell, had collapsed and stopped breathing.
Alfie, nicknamed "Little Tarzan" by his mum and Waterson, died from crush asphyxia three days later with injuries similar to those seen in a car crash.
Alfie, who weighed two-and-a-half stone and was just over three feet tall, was crushed in a 9.5cm gap with 12 stone of weight on his tiny body in the first case of it kind.
What did Waterson tell police?
As medics desperately tried to revive him, Waterson fled the scene and Hoare spun a web of lies, claiming she had been in a taxi.
Waterson gave officers a false name and false statement.
He originally claimed he had no idea how Alfie died but insisted it had nothing to do with the car seat.
Both he and Hoare cooked up a web of lies to cover their tracks after Alfie's death – with Waterson threatening to "get rid" of anyone who revealed the truth.
Hoare then lied to cops about what happened – claiming he went "floppy" after they were given a lift home in a friend's car.
She also tried telling emergency crews they had got in a taxi before changing her story, while "arrogant" Waterson tried to exploit his "powerful parents" to make himself "untouchable".
Frantic Hoare later text Waterson to say police knew they were lying – with the chilling truth later emerging.
Hoare eventually broke her silence and told her half sister Ashleigh Jeffrey what happened in a taped conversation handed to cops.
When officers searched the flat where the couple lived with Alfie, they found two children's car seats which could have saved his life.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC previously told jurors both Waterson and Hoare played a part in Alfie's death, saying Hoare "fundamentally and fatally" failing to act.
What happened to Alfie's mum?
Adrian Hoare has been jailed for two years and nine months
She was cleared of manslaughter but found guilty of child cruelty at the Old Bailey in February this year.
Alfie’s gran Janis Templeton-Hoare spoke out, saying Hoare should spend the rest of her life in jail for letting Alfie die.
Janis has also claimed her daughter was neglectful and lost interest in her son when he became a toddler.
She told the Daily Mirror: “My attitude is a life for a life. If you take a life, you give your life.
“It doesn’t matter who. It really seems she’s done that and she’s out in a few months and it just seems a shame that little man’s not here no more and she’s got the rest of her life to live.”
What happened to Stephen Waterson?
Waterson has now pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to the manslaughter by gross negligence after a trial earlier this year saw jurors unable to reach a verdict.
He has also admitted perverting the course of justice and intimidating a witness.
Angela Moriarty, from the CPS, said: “This was a cruel and heartless act against a defenceless young child.
“Alfie Lamb had been alive and well earlier in the day when he had been out shopping in Sutton. It was in the car journey back home that Waterson, with a callous disregard to Alfie’s safety, deliberately pushed his car seat back.
“Alfie had been subjected to up to 81kg of weight in a 9.5cm gap resulting in catastrophic injuries which proved to be fatal.
“This was a harrowing and difficult case for all those involved, but finally justice has been served for Alfie.”
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