A mother has been found guilty of child cruelty after her three-year-old son was allegedly crushed by her partner’s car seat.
Adrian Hoare, 23 allegedly failed to prevent her boyfriend Stephen Waterson, 25, from squashing Alfie Lamb in the footwell of his Audi convertible with his seat in February last year.
Afterwards, Hoare and Waterson, the adopted son of former Tory minister Nigel Waterson, lied to police about what happened.
Following an Old Bailey trial, a jury was unable to decide whether Waterson was guilty of Alfie’s manslaughter, but found him guilty of intimidation of a witness in the case.
Hoare was cleared of manslaughter, but found guilty of an alternative charge of child cruelty and common assault on another witness.
The defendants had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
On February 1 last year, the defendants had gone shopping for cushions in Sutton, accompanied by Alfie, Emilie Williams, 19, Marcus Lamb, 22, and another young child.
Jurors were shown CCTV of Alfie running to keep up with his mother moments before he was put in the car for the journey back to Croydon, south London.
It was alleged nightclub worker Waterson became annoyed at Alfie’s crying and twice moved his front passenger seat into him as he sat at his mother’s feet.
Jurors heard the maximum space in the foot well was 30cm, and, at the touch of a button, that could be reduced to just 9.5cm.
Waterson, who is 5ft 7in tall, initially pushed his front seat back to give himself more leg room, according to Williams, who is the sister of his ex-girlfriend.
Alfie screamed for his “mummy” but Hoare just slapped him and told him to “shut up”, said unqualified driver Lamb, who was Alfie’s cousin.
By the time they arrived at Waterson’s home in Croydon, south London, the boy had collapsed and stopped breathing.
As medics desperately tried to revive him, Waterson fled the scene and Hoare spun a web of lies, claiming she had been in a taxi.
Alfie, nicknamed “Little Tarzan” by the defendants, died from crush asphyxia three days later.