Mother put boyfriend first in car seat tragedy, court told

A young mother has been accused at the Old Bailey of putting her boyfriend first after he allegedly crushed her little boy with his car seat because he was annoyed.

Adrian Hoare, 23, allegedly failed to prevent Stephen Waterson from twice pushing the chair into Alfie Lamb, saying: “I will not be told what to do by a three-year-old.”

Afterwards, Hoare did not blame him straight away because her relationship with 25-year-old Waterson was “just too important”, Duncan Atkinson QC claimed.

Alfie Lamb
Alfie Lamb (Family Handout/PA)

Alfie collapsed in Waterson’s Audi convertible on the way home to Croydon from a shopping trip to Sutton, south London, on February 1 last year.

There were four adults in the car as well as two children who were forced to sit in the footwell.

Jurors were shown CCTV of 3ft tall Alfie appearing to run to keep up as the group set out from Halfords car park and later returned with their shopping.

Cross-examining Hoare, Mr Atkinson asked: “Whose pace are you walking at? What allowances were you making for Alfie’s little legs? Why is Alfie having to run?”

Video grab taken from CCTV of Stephen Waterson and Adrian Hoare, left, with Alfie Lamb, right, with the other people who were in the car, returning from a shopping trip to Sutton on the day Alfie died
Video grab taken from CCTV of Stephen Waterson and Adrian Hoare, left, with Alfie Lamb, right, returning from a shopping trip on the day Alfie died (Metropolitan Police/PA)

The defendant replied: “It’s just the way I walk even if it’s just me and Alfie. Alfie always runs.”

Mr Atkinson went on: “Until he got into that car on the way back from Sutton, he was fine wasn’t he?

“And by the time that the car reached Adams Way he was very far from fine, wasn’t he? Something had to have happened in that journey?

“So when doctors and police start saying something happened to Alfie, you knew it had to have happened in the car. Were you not thinking it must have been Stephen?”

Hoare replied: “Not straight away.”

The prosecutor asserted: “What Stephen had done with his seat he had done deliberately. He was annoyed the second time he moved his chair back?”

Hoare agreed, but added: “To begin with I did not blame anyone for what happened.”

Mr Atkinson said: “Was it your relationship with Stephen was just too important?

“Wasn’t the reality you just put what Stephen wanted first?”

The defendant denied it.

The Audi convertible car in which three-year-old Alfie Lamb is alleged to have been crushed
The Audi convertible (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Earlier, Waterson’s lawyer Tana Adkin QC suggested Waterson’s chair had nothing to do with Alfie’s injuries, saying Hoare must have “done something”.

She asked Hoare: “Are you trying to cover up something you did in the back of the car, and now trying to say it was Stephen that moved the seat and you knew what happened?”

The defendant replied: “No.”

Hoare, who is originally from Gravesend in Kent, denies manslaughter, child cruelty and common assault on Emilie Williams, who was in the car.

Waterson has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and intimidation of the driver Marcus 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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