A little boy who died after he was crushed beneath a car seat was referred to as ‘little s***’ by his mother’s boyfriend, a court has heard.
Stephen Waterson, 25, is accused of deliberately ramming his seat against Alfie Lamb because the boy would not stop crying after his mother Adrian Hoare allegedly forced him into the footwell.
Hoare was today questioned about how Waterson would speak to Alfie, and claimed he called him ‘Tarzan’.
But her barrister Katy Thorne QC asked her: ‘What about the name “little s***'”?.’
Hoare insisted: ‘It was just another name. It was not to be nasty or horrible it was just another name.’
She also told jurors she was ‘scared’ of her boyfriend and felt ‘little’ when he bragged about his important family.
Giving evidence at the Old Bailey, Hoare said she felt ‘scared’ when her partner was ‘annoyed or angry’, adding: ‘You never knew how he was going to react to things.’
Stephen Waterson is accused of deliberately pushing his Audi’s seat back against Alfie Lamb – and said hours later: ‘They know we’re lying’ after claiming the three-year-old was injured by a taxi
Adrian Hoare and Stephen Waterson are on trial at the Old Bailey – but deny the manslaughter of the little boy
Despite the nickname, Hoare insisted Waterson ‘was good with’ her son.
Waterson, who is the adoptive son of former Tory cabinet minister Nigel Waterson, claims he has no idea how Alfie died, but insists it had nothing to do with the car seat.
He told emergency operators he had been driving by and stopped to help try and revive Alfie – the couple then claimed the little boy had been injured in a taxi which had driven off.
A message sent from Hoare to Waterson just hours after the incident at 8.07pm on February 2 of last year was read to the jury, which said: ‘They know that we are lying.’
Duncan Atkinson, prosecuting, asked him today: ‘Was it that ‘Plan A’ the first lie, was not working that prompted you to go to the hospital?
‘Even before you had reached the hospital you did not know what lies she had told the police, you were trying to get her alone and away from the police.
Waterson answered: ‘No-one was allowed in the room with Alfie, Alfie was with doctors. I did not know what lies she had told the police.’
Mr Atkinson said: ‘You were trying to get her alone’
Waterson asked him: ‘Is it a crime to be alone with your partner?’
He added: ‘I have already admitted lying in the beginning, I have pleaded guilty to it, lies were told, I did not want to get anyone in trouble.’
His girlfriend Adrian Hoare, 23, was in the back seat with Alfie and Hoare said he looked upon the boy as his son.
Adrian Hoare, 23, allegedly put Alfie in the footwell and did nothing to help him as he screamed out for her
Waterson told jurors that he lied to police because he was worried that he would get in trouble because the driver of the car, Marcus Lamb, had been disqualified
Waterson told the Old Bailey he lied to police after the incident because he was worried that he would get in trouble because the driver of the car, Marcus Lamb, had been disqualified.
Two days after Alfie was injured Waterson went in search of a new car.
Mr Atkinson asked him: ‘Why did you start looking for a new car?’
Waterson said: ‘I buy and sell cars not just on that day on every day.
‘If you are asking about the Audi, no, I was still driving it.’
The prosecutor asked him: ‘Is it a coincidence then is it that as Alfie was going from fit and well to unconscious and dying that you started trying to sell it?’
Waterson answered: ‘I sold it because I felt sick every time I got in the car.
‘Why? Because the boy I looked on as a son had died in the backseat of it’.
Waterson has also been accused of using the fact he is the son of former Tory minister Nigel Waterson (pictured together) to make him feel untouchable
Who is ex-Tory minister Nigel Waterson?
Nigel Waterson was born in Yorkshire and attended Leeds Grammar School.
In the 1992 General Election, he took his seat from the Liberal Democrats, and went on to successfully defend it in 1997, 2001 and 2005.
He served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Health Minister and to the Deputy Prime Minister (Michael Heseltine) during the Major government.
Nigel entered the Whips’ Office in 1997. He later became Shadow Minister for Local Government and then for Trade & Industry.
In 2003, he was appointed Shadow Pensions Minister and also Shadow Minister for Older People.
Throughout his time in Government he campaigned on issues affecting older people – including scrapping the pension age.
He is currently a trustee of the International Longevity Centre, and a Council member of the Society of Pension Consultants.
He also has a role as Patron of the Eastbourne branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, as well as Patron of the local Abbeyfield Society
Mr Atkinson asked Waterson how far back he moved his car seat when Alfie was behind him in the footwell.
Waterson replied: ‘I didn’t move it very far.’
The barrister asked:’How long did you have your finger on the button for? A quick press?’
Waterson told the jury: ‘Just a quick press, it didn’t go back very far.’
The prosecutor asked him: ‘Could you feel anything behind you as you were moving it back?’
‘Nothing was hitting the back of the chair.’
‘That’s not true is it,’ said Mr Atkinson
‘It is,’ said Waterson.
He was asked him when in relation to him moving the seat did he hear Alfie cough.
Waterson said he could not remember but he thought it was after he moved the seat.
He was asked if it was after he moved the seat that Adrian slapped Alfie.
Waterson said: ‘I don’t know why she slapped him or why told him off that is something you would have to ask Adrian.
‘He was pinching her as she said: ‘Shut the f*ck up, stop pinching me.’
Waterson is accused of ramming his seat back (pictured) into Alfie, crushing him against the back seat. The car was sold days later
Mr Atkinson said: ‘The reality is that during the car journey pressure was applied to Alfie that stopped him being able to breathe.’
Waterson told the court that he could not see what was going on behind him.
Mr Atkinson asked him if the chair met resistance.
He replied: ‘If the chair met resistance I would have stopped.’
Waterson said the chair ‘went, back then forward, then stayed there’.
Waterson admitted the car was overloaded but said he could not remember how many times he had crammed too many people into the car.
Dr Barbara Judge, mother of Stephen Waterson, outside the Old Bailey
On February 5 last year Waterson received a text from his mother, Barbara Judge asking him what was going on and why he was with Emilie Williams.
Waterson’s reply was read out in court: ‘I explain please don’t be mad I wasn’t planning on staying I was going home and please don’t say my address to anyone please don’t want anyone knowing where I live.’
Mr Atkinson asked him: ‘Was that you asking your mother to lie for you?’
Waterson replied that he did not want anyone knowing his address and his parents did not like him having people there.
At the time he was living there with Hoare.
‘The deal was that if they were paying the deposit with me that no one would be around my flat.’
Alfie died three days after suffering a cardiac arrest outside the home he shared with the couple in Croydon, south London.
Hoare and Waterson deny manslaughter.
Hoare also denies charges of child cruelty for placing Alfie in the footwell and common assault on Ms Williams on February 14.
Waterson further denies intimidating Marcus Lamb, also known as Marcus Richardson, on 15 February.
But Hoare and Waterson, have admitted perverting the course by submitting false statements to police.
The trial continues.
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