Mum & fiance GUILTY of killing Alfie Steele, 9, after beating boy and holding him down in bath in campaign of abuse | The Sun

A MONSTER mum and her fiance are today facing jail after being found guilty of killing nine-year-old Alfie Steele in a vicious campaign of abuse.

Carla Scott, 35, and her partner, Dirk Howell, 41, killed little Alfie after months of harrowing abuse during lockdown at his home in Droitwich, Worcestershire.

The defenceless schoolboy died after his lifeless body was pulled from a bath having suffered more than 50 injuries at the hands of the evil pair in February 2021.

His stepdad Howell was today found guilty of murdering the young boy and his mum Scott was convicted of manslaughter.

The jury found her not guilty of murdering Alfie after deliberating for 10 hours and 13 minutes.

The couple are due to be sentenced at a later date.

A court heard Alfie had been tortured and beaten to death after being subjected to a "cruel and sinister" regime of punishment at the property in Vashon Drive.

The court heard how the cruel pair thought it was acceptable to hit Alfie with "belts, or a slider, like a heavy-duty flip flop, and use other more sinister forms of punishment."

The brutal discipline techniques included Alfie being whipped with belts and flip flops as well as being "dunked" in cold baths.

He was also made to stand outside at night and have water thrown over him.

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Among his wounds, some abrasions on the left side of his face were allegedly caused by "direct pressure", with jurors told they would "hear evidence about him being held under water".

In July 2019, Scott started dating Howell and within six months they became engaged, though they had made no plans for a wedding.

The relationship was "not a happy one" for Alfie, added Michelle Heeley KC, with family and neighbours raising with authorities "concerns within a short period of time of these two getting together".

Ms Heeley said Alfie died after being "beaten and deliberately put in a cold bath" and he had been "made to endure a life that no child should lead".

She added: "Alfie had not simply fallen asleep in a comfortable bath. "He had been deliberately and repeatedly assaulted, beaten, and put into and held under a cold bath as a punishment.

"That unlawful course of conduct, that unnecessary punishment, was carried out jointly by Carla Scott and Dirk Howell.

"It was their actions that led to his death".

Ms Heeley added: "Dirk Howell believed in discipline, on the face of it not a bad thing when bringing up young children, but whereas you might think of discipline as being the naughty step, or having set bedtimes, for Dirk Howell discipline was far more physical and psychological."


Neighbours told the court they had heard little Alfie begging to be let inside the home.

Haunting footage captured Alfie's screams as he repeated "let me in, let me in" after being locked outside.

And he was ultimately found lifeless in a dark and "dirty" room on February 18, 2021.

PC Stacey Hegenbarth, of West Mercia Police, recalled finding the poor boy, saying: "There was a boy who was completely naked lying on a wooden floor, a young boy, and a female I now know to be the mother giving chest compressions.

"There was a large, dirty, badly stained mattress on the floor. No bedding, no bed.

"The floor was dirty and sticky. I think there was a broken wardrobe in one corner. Just very untidy.

"But I recall downstairs, the living room and kitchen, I would describe it as a show home. It was spotlessly clean.

"It was the polar opposite upstairs, it was a completely dishevelled property."

PC Hegenbarth also said that Scott had explained some of the little boy's facial injuries by saying that he had fallen off his bike without a helmet.

Bodycam footage was previously played to jurors showing a sobbing Scott allegedly lying to police after stricken Alfie was found.

She can be heard telling officers: "I think he banged his head when he was in the bath because he's got an [inaudible] on his head."

The mum then phones Howell to tell him Alfie has been taken to hospital but "they won't let me go up there yet".

She said: "There's loads of police, they've got detectives and everything".

Scott ends the call by telling Howell "I love you too" and making a kissing noise down the phone.


The footage shows Scott in her living room, which has the words "family, where life begins" stencilled on the wall.

Coventry Crown Court was also played a 999 call she made claiming Alfie had "fallen asleep" and drowned in the bath.

Scott tells the operator she can "feel a rattle" on his chest but says he is not breathing and making "lots of gargling noises".

The mum adds: "He fell asleep in the bath. He's got asthma. When he was a baby he got pneumonia."

Minutes later, footage played to jurors showed Howell being arrested as he attempted to board a train at Droitwich station.

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A cop asks him "What's your name buddy?" before Howell replies: "Dirk Howell, why?"

The officer says: "I need to have a quick chat with you…right ok well, put your hands up for me, so at the moment, you are under arrest on suspicion of attempted murder."

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