Mother and partner murdered nine-year-old boy found lifeless in cold bath, court hears

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The trial of a mother and her partner has been told they murdered her nine-year-old son who was found lifeless in a cold bath at his home.

Alfie Steele was found by police and paramedics with water in his airways and showing "no signs of life" after his mother, Carla Scott, dialled 999 on 18 February 2021 from her home in Droitwich.

She told paramedics that Alfie had fallen asleep in the bath but the jury at Coventry Crown Court was told that she was lying in order to protect her partner, Dirk Howell, from becoming a suspect.

Outlining the case, Michelle Heeley KC, told the court that Alfie died due to the "deliberate and unlawful actions" of Carla Scott and Dirk Howell and had been "deliberately assaulted, beaten and put into and held under a cold bath as a punishment".

Ms Heeley said that Ms Scott lied to paramedics that her partner had not been at the house since the previous night, however CCTV showed him running from the house towards the train station around the time she called 999.

Alfie was taken to hospital in Worcester. His temperature was "strikingly low" at just 23 degrees. He was pronounced dead at 3.55pm.

The court heard that "he had bruises all over his body".

Ms Heeley told the jury that Carla Scott and Dirk Howell both thought it was acceptable to beat Alfie with belts and a slider, a form of flip flop.

She said that Alfie was "already on social service's radar" by the time his mother began a relationship with Dirk Howell in July 2019 and that "family and neighbours had concerns within a short time of these two defendants getting together, and these were raised with authorities".

Both Carla Scott and Dirk Howell deny murdering Alfie. The trial continues.