Mum and stepdad who held down boy, 9, in cold bath found guilty of killing him

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    A sick mum and her partner have been found guilty of killing her nine-year-old son by beating him and holding him underwater in a bathtub.

    Alfie Steele was beaten and held underwater in the bathtub in his home in Droitwich, Worcestershire, that he shared with his mum, Carla Scott and her fiancé, Dirk Howell, prior to his death in February 2021.

    Disturbing footage played for jurors at Coventry Crown Court showed that on the day of Alfie's death (February 18 2021), his mum told police officers at her house that the young boy had "banged his dead."

    On top of this, jurors were also played the 999 call Carla made hours prior, in which she claimed her son had "fallen asleep" and drowned in the bath.

    She was heard remaining calm as she tells the operator that she could "feel a rattle" on her son’s chest, adding: "He’s not breathing, but he keeps making noises."

    More bodycam footage revealed that Archie's body was found in a "dark, dirty and dishevelled bedroom" when emergency services came.

    Carla, who was standing in the doorway as cops and paramedics were at the scene, was spotted making a phone call to Dirk, telling him: "He's gone up to hospital, they won't let me go up there yet.

    "There's loads of police, they've got detectives and everything."

    She was heard ending the phone call by saying: "I will do, I love you too" and makes a kissing sound down the phone.

    The jury heard that the sick pair concocted a twisted scheme that saw them repeatedly assault the boy and force him into cold baths in an attempt to "correct him."

    Prosecutor Michelle Heeley KC said that the sick couple both thought it was acceptable to hit Alfie with "belts, or a slider, like a heavy-duty flip flop, and use other more sinister forms of punishment".

    The barrister added that that young boy had 50 injuries across his body, and that only a handful could be put down to normal childhood bumps and scrapes.

    The schoolboy was also heard screaming as he allegedly begged to be allowed inside his house 18 months before he died in a video taken by a neighbour months before he was found dead, the court heard.

    While the 41-year-old fiancé was found guilt of murder, Alfie's mum was only convicted on manslaughter charges, after the jury found her not guilty of murder.

    Both denied charges of murder, manslaughter and causing or allowing Alfie's death, though his mum, 35, also denied child cruelty offences.

    The pair will now face sentencing for their horrific crimes.

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    • Murder
    • Crime
    • Courts
    • Family

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