Mum of Alfie Lamb, 3, crushed to death by car seat should 'stay in jail for life', says aunt

THE mum of a tragic three-year-old boy crushed to death by a car seat should stay in prison "for life", his heartbroken aunt says.

Adrian Hoare will walk free from prison in just weeks despite going AWOL while out on licence.

The vile mum was caged for two years and nine months in May 2019 after putting son Alfie Lamb in harm's way when placing him into the footwell of an Audi in 2018.

He was crushed to death by her boyfriend Stephen Waterson, who reversed his car seat into him.

Alfie's aunt – Stephen's sister – Samantha Dawson has now hit out at the Parole Board's decision to release Hoare when her sentence expires in July.

The 34-year-old, who gave evidence at the trial, said: "They should both be serving life in my opinion. I worry that my brother will come looking for me after he is released.

"He is no longer anything to me and he certainly is no uncle to my kids.

“My youngest son actually looks a little like Stephen and it breaks my heart. I think of Alfie every single day.”

Little Alfie died in a "matter of minutes" in Stephen Waterson's Audi A4 in February 2018 after the thug was said to have flown into a "fit of childish temper".

As the youngster sobbed for his "mummy", snarling Waterson told him "I'm not being told what to do by a three-year-old" before again slamming his chair back.

Alfie, who weighed two-and-a-half stone and was just over three feet tall, was crushed in a 9.5cm gap with 12 stone of weight on his tiny body in the first case of it kind.

"Arrogant" Waterson – the adopted son of former Tory cabinet minister Nigel Waterson – was jailed for seven years and six months in 2019.

Samantha, who is Stephen’s half-sister, shared a close bond with Alfie.

She said: "Alfie was cute and I loved him. I felt we had a connection and I loved buying him treats.

“But his parents were rough with him, they would smack him and shout at him. He was well looked after in the way that he was well dressed and fed and clean. But he was not well loved.

“On one occasion, we were all in the car and Alfie was squashed in the foot-well. I was horrified. He actually said: ‘Mummy, I can’t move.’

“I shouted at Stephen to move him. I didn’t know they did this as a routine – and that it would soon kill Alfie.

“When I heard Alfie was dead, my mind went back to the day in the car and I wished I had been more forceful – could I have saved him?”

The couple had gone shopping for cushions in Sutton, accompanied by Alfie, Emilie Williams, 20, Marcus Lamb, 22, and another young child in February 2018 when the horror unfolded.

Jurors were shown CCTV of Alfie running to keep up with his mum moments before he was put in the car for the journey back to Croydon, south London.

Waterson had become annoyed at Alfie's crying and twice moved his front passenger seat into him as he sat at his mother's feet.

The maximum space in the foot well was 30cm, and, at the touch of a button, that could be reduced to just 9.5cm.

Terrified Alfie screamed for his "mummy" but Hoare just slapped him and told him to "shut up" as Waterson shoved his seat back.

By the time they arrived home, the boy, who had previously travelled in the footwell, had collapsed and stopped breathing.

Alfie, nicknamed "Little Tarzan" by his mum and Waterson, died from crush asphyxia three days later with injuries similar to those seen in a car crash.

Waterson originally claimed he had no idea how Alfie died but insisted it had nothing to do with the car seat.

Both he and Hoare cooked up a web of lies to cover their tracks after Alfie's death – with Waterson threatening to "get rid" of anyone who revealed the truth.

Hoare then lied to cops about what happened – claiming he went "floppy" after they were given a lift home in a friend's car.

She also tried telling emergency crews they had got in a taxi before changing her story, while Waterson tried to exploit his "powerful parents" to make himself "untouchable".

Frantic Hoare later text Waterson to say police knew they were lying – with the chilling truth later emerging.

Hoare eventually broke her silence and told her half sister Ashleigh Jeffrey what happened in a taped conversation handed to cops.

When officers searched the flat where the couple lived with Alfie, they found two children's car seats which could have saved his life.

Hoare was jailed for two years and nine months after being found guilty of child cruelty, assault and plotting to pervert the course of justice in the wake of her son's death.

She was initially freed from jail early in October 2019 but her licence was revoked just three months later after she "placed herself in a risky situation and had then lost touch with the probation service".

Hoare then remained "unlawfully at large" until she was taken back into custody in May 2020.

The Parole Board, which considers whether criminals who are recalled to prison can be re-released as part of its work, decided she is not yet suitable to be freed again.

But she will be able to walk free within months because her sentence expires in July.

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