Alfie Steele murder trial hits yet another snag

COURT: Dirk Howell (left) and Carla Scott <i>(Image: Facebook)</i>
COURT: Dirk Howell (left) and Carla Scott (Image: Facebook)

A NEW date will have to be fixed for the trial of a couple accused of killing a schoolboy after a delay involving a medical report.

Carla Scott, 34, and Dirk Howell, 39, are accused of the murder of Alfie Steele following his death at a house in Droitwich on February 18 last year.

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The nine-year-old died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, after he had been airlifted.

The case was heard at Worcester Crown Court today (Friday) where a pre-trial review took place.

However, a delay in the availability of a medical report has cast doubt on the trial being able to go ahead in Coventry on January 10 next year.

Worcester News: MISSED: Alfie Steele
Worcester News: MISSED: Alfie Steele

MISSED: Alfie Steele (Image: West Mercia Police via the family)

Appearing over videolink were the defendants, the Honourable Mrs Justice May, Jennifer Josephs, prosecuting, Alisdair Williamson KC, for Howell, and Rachel Brand KC, for Scott.

A further hearing was listed for December 16 at Worcester Crown Court for a new trial date and an extension of custody time limits.

Scott and Howell both deny murder and causing or allowing the death of a child in relation to Alfie Steele.

Scott also faces a charge of cruelty towards Alfie - a person aged under 16 - between July 13, 2019 and February 18, 2021.

As previously reported, the trial had been expected to begin on Thursday, October 13.

But when the case was called on in a packed courtroom at Worcester Crown Court it quickly became apparent the trial would not be able to proceed.

On a previous occasion Mark Heywood, prosecuting, said further medical evidence needed to be investigated ahead of the trial, asking for an adjournment.

Following the death Alfie’s grandad, Paul Scott, spoke of his smile that would melt butter and his inquisitive nature.

The grandad 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.”

Flowers, candles, teddies, cards and balloons with handwritten messages of love and of grief were also laid on a table outside the house in Copcut, Droitwich, in the days after his death.