A man from Croydon has pleaded guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence after crushing a 3-year-old boy to death.
Stephen Waterson, 26, Croydon, previously denied manslaughter charges at a court case earlier this year, but was convicted today after submitting a guilty plea to manslaughter. He is due to be sentenced on Monday, 9 September.
His girlfriends son, Alfie, suffered fatal injuries after he was deliberately crushed by a car seat.
Stephen Waterson deliberately moved the seat back, as far as it would go, on one occasion because he was annoyed at the noise Alfie was making. Full information can be found at news.met.police.uk.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said:
“As the mother and step-father of Alfie, Adrian Hoare and Stephen Waterson should have put the safety and well-being of Alfie as their uppermost priority when he was placed in the car on February 1 last year.
“Instead, they put the toddler, who was just three-and-a-half years old, in the footwell of the vehicle with little or no room to move.
“Waterson, who was annoyed that Alfie was making some noise, spitefully and selfishly moved his seat back as far as it could go to quieten the toddler. He did this full in the knowledge that his action would cause harm to Alfie.
“Hoare, who was sitting behind Alfie, failed in any meaningful way to address the consequences of Waterson’s actions. Although the movement of the seat carried with it an obvious risk of death, given the lack of space even for a child of Alfie’s size, she utterly failed in her duty to protect her child.
“Finding that Alfie was unresponsive once they returned to Adams Way, Hoare and Waterson continuously lied to police in a bid to escape responsibility for their actions. Even with her son fighting for his life in intensive care, Hoare showed little or no concern for Alfie and focussed her energies on maintaining contact with her partner so they could corroborate their false stories.
“However, my team of homicide detectives quickly uncovered the pair’s lies and arrested them for manslaughter.
“The investigation into Alfie’s death has been one of the most distressful I have been involved in during my career.
“The jury have listened to some extremely difficult evidence in this case and I think them for the time they dedicated to this case.
“Alfie was killed as the result of a selfish and spiteful act by his stepfather, which was aided and abetted by the indifference of his mother. Nothing can be done to make up for the tragic death of a young boy who was at the very beginning of his life.
“However, I hope that today’s verdict ensures that justice has been served in this case and Alfie’s voice, which was so cruelly silenced in that car, has been heard and remembered.”
(Image Credit and Source: News.met.police.uk)