Alfie Steele: 9-yr-old boy found dead in cold bath endured months of torture from mom and boyfriend
DROITWICH, ENGLAND: A nine-year-old child was held down in a cold bath and lashed and battered by his mother and her boyfriend, a court has heard. On February 18, 2021, Alfie Steele was discovered by police at his home in Droitwich, Worcestershire, cold and unresponsive. He was later confirmed dead at Worcester Royal Hospital.
The child was allegedly subjected to months of ill-treatment and a “sinister” punishing regime at the hands of his mother, Carla Scott, 35, and her fiance Dirk Howell, 41. More than 50 injuries were found on the schoolboy’s body, all of which were the result of “direct pressure,” making him “susceptible to drowning while unconscious.”
The couple believed that hitting Alfie with “belts, or a slider, like a heavy-duty flip flop, and using other more sinister forms of punishment,” was acceptable, the jury was informed. Scott and Howell are on trial at the Coventry Crown court for murder and causing or permitting a child’s death, as per reports.
‘Beaten and deliberately put in a cold bath’
Michelle Heeley KC, who opened the hearing, stated, “This case is about the murder of a nine-year-old boy called Alfie Steele, who died after being beaten and deliberately put in a cold bath.” She continued, “The people we say are responsible for killing Alfie and inflicting cruelty on him are his mother, Carla Scott, and her partner, Dirk Howell. Alfie had not simply fallen asleep in a comfortable bath,” as reported by Mirror.
Heeley then said, “He had been deliberately and repeatedly assaulted, beaten, and put into and held under a cold bath as a punishment, and that unlawful course of conduct, that unnecessary punishment, was carried out jointly by Carla Scott and Dirk Howell. It was their actions that led to his death.”
Scott claimed in a 999 call that little Alfie had dozed off in the bath and slipped beneath the water on the day the child died, just before 2.30 pm. Alfie wasn’t breathing, the mother claimed, so she took him outside to try to revive him. Alfie was already dead when police arrived, according to what the jury was told. Howell’s hostile behavior against Alfie was also seen by neighbors, who reported seeing him yell at the nine-year-old in the street.
Carla Scott’s lies
Heeley said, “Carla Scott stood by and let it happen. She put her loyalty to her partner.” Heeley then said, “He [Alfie] was not breathing, and he was cold to the touch, so already cold just six minutes (after Carla Scott made a 999 call). She (Scott) told the police she had last seen him (Howell) a couple of days ago. That was a lie. In the first moments when her child was dead, her first thought was to lie,” as reported by ExpressUk.
She added, “Carla Scott’s pretense that Mr Howell had not been at the house but was coming over then was a lie. He had been at the house since the previous night, and Carla Scott lied to police to protect him.”
“Medical and all the other witness evidence will lead you to be sure that Alfie, in fact, died as the result of an unlawful act by one, or both, of these defendants,” she noted. “He didn’t die of natural causes; he had bruises all over his body and signs that he had been deprived of oxygen.”
The prosecution argued that some of the wounds might have been sustained more recently than others. According to testimony given in court, a specialist neuropathologist said Alfie had either drowned, mechanically asphyxiated, or suffered a concussion. There was no chance Alfie could have died naturally, according to Professor Safa Al-Sarraj, as per reports.
Carla Scott called it a regular day
“Drowning was clearly an important consideration. Drowning can be difficult to prove after death because the features of drowning are transient. There appeared to have been water in Alfie’s airway as the paramedics tried to resuscitate him. But the water could have entered the airway in life but could also have flowed into the airways after death if Alfie had been immersed at that point,” Heeley added.
She also noted how Carla Scott initially described February 18 as a regular day. She claimed Alfie enjoyed taking baths and made a nuisance of himself when he asked for one. Heeley said, “She described filling the bath with water and testing the temperature with her elbow, adjusting it with running hot and cold water until it was just right. That was a lie. She said no visitors had come to or left the house after she had woken that day. Another lie. She said that Mr Howell had not been at the address since Monday, February 15, 2021, and she denied being responsible for Alfie’s death.” The trial continues, as reported by Expresssuk.