A mum and her partner have been charged with murdering her nine-year-old son.
Carla Scott, 34, and boyfriend Dirk Howell, 39, are accused of killing Alfie Steele, who was found in a critical condition at home in Droitwich, Worcestershire, on 18 February last year.
The youngster was airlifted to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but died hours later.
Scott and Howell are scheduled for a plea and trial preparation hearing at Worcester Crown Court on 25 February, Worcester News reports.
The couple also face charges of causing or allowing the death of a child, and cruelty to a person aged under 16 between 13 July 2019 and 18 February 2021.
Following his death, Alfie’s grandad Paul Scott said: “We are completely devastated by the loss of Alfie, he had a smile that would melt butter.
"He was intelligent and inquisitive, and was courageous like a lion; he was a good Christian boy who was full of God.
“He would never shy away from anything and had no fear.”