Adrian Hoare and Stephen Waterson both deny the manslaughter of Alfie Lamb, three, who was crushed to death by a car seat
A toddler weighing less than 16kg cried out “mummy” as he was crushed by a car seat applying “81kg of pressure,” a court heard.
Alfie Lamb was 42-months-old when his mother’s boyfriend Stephen Waterson twice pushed back his passenger seat “with force” as he sat in a baby seat in the footwell, it was said.
It is alleged Alfie’s mother Adrian Hoare and Waterson both shouted at the boy to stop moaning as he had little room to move.
Hoare then slapped the boy before Waterson moved his front passenger seat back twice, it was alleged.
Alfie then stopped moaning before starting up again and then made “choking” noises, it was said.
But the jury heard Hoare and Waterson both ignored pleas from passenger Emilie Williams to check on him during the car journey.
Waterson and Hoare are accused of the boy’s manslaughter while in a Waterson’s Audi A4 driven by Marcus Lamb with his partner Miss Williams in the rear seat.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC told an Old Bailey jury “at peak”, the car electric car seat could apply 81kg of pressure.
He said Mr Lamb heard Alfie cry out “mummy” and make a choking noise when Waterson pushed the seat back.
Referring to Mr Lamb’s statement to police, Mr Atkinson said: “He said while they were out Hoare had been shouting at Alfie.
“He had felt pressured by Waterson to drive the car.
“He had been aware that Hoare, Williams and their children were in the back, but he thought Alfie was between the women on the back seat.
“In his witness statement he clarified that when Alfie was first passed into the car, he was placed between Hoare’s legs in the rear footwell behind the front passenger.
During the journey he heard Alfie screaming and crying and both Hoare and Waterson telling him to shut up.
“He also heard Hoare slap Alfie.
“He then heard the sound of the front passenger seat moving backwards, and Alfie shouting ‘mummy’.
“A few minutes later, Williams told Waterson to move his seat forward, which he did.
“Alfie continued to cry and both Waterson and Hoare told him to be quiet.
He only became aware of problem with Alfie after the car stopped at Adams Way.
“Waterson has pulled Alfie out of the car and Hoare had said to him ‘what have you done?'”
Miss Williams told detectives the four had gone to Sutton to go shopping and on the return trip to Croydon Alfie was “moaning” because he didn’t have much room.
After her arrest in connection with the investigation at the end of February last year (she was later released without charge), Mr Atkinson said: “Miss Williams said ‘Alfie was moaning that he didn’t have enough room.’
“‘And then Alfie stopped moaning and then after a few minutes Stephen moved his chair back again and Alfie started moaning again but Adrian said that we was going to be home soon so it’ll be fine.
“‘He carries on crying for a few minutes and then he became quiet, so Adrian thought he had fallen asleep.
“‘But before that I noticed that he was like, it sounded like he was about to bring up sick but he didn’t and he swallowed it again.
“‘So I told Adrian to check him but she didn’t, she said he was fine and he was just coughing.'”
Mr Atkinson added: “She would hear Alfie make a choking noise when the seat was back over him.
“She mentioned to Waterson and Hoare that Alfie was choking and they dismissed her concerns.”
The court heard Waterson fled after the boy fell unconscious and sold the car “very quickly” afterwards.
Mr Atkinson said: “The case centrally concerns a blue Audi.
“It belonged to Waterson, who sold it very quickly after this incident.
“It was recovered and taken to Perivale car pound.”
Williams, Waterson and Hoare, all spoke about lying to the police when they realised Alfie was unresponsive, the jury heard.
And when arrested Miss Williams changed her original story about the taxi and said she had lied “out of loyalty” to Hoare.
Hoare and Waterson, both of Adams Way, Croydon, south London, deny manslaughter.
Hoare denies further charges child cruelty for placing Alfie in the footwell and common assault on Williams on February 14.
Waterson denies intimidating Marcus Richardson, also known as Marcus Lamb, on 15 February.