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Mother jailed for child cruelty after Alfie, three, crushed to death in car

Crushed: Baby Alfie was placed in the footwell of his mum's car PICTURES: PA

A MOTHER whose three-year-old son was crushed to death by a car seat has been jailed for two years and nine months.

Hairdresser Adrian Hoare, 24, from Gravesend, Kent, was found guilty of putting her son Alfie Lamb into harm’s way by placing him into the footwell of an Audi convertible.

Her boyfriend Stephen Waterson, 25, from Croydon, adopted son of former government minister Nigel Waterson, was accused of squashing Alfie by reversing his car seat into him.

Guilty: Adrian Hoare (left) was found guilty of child cruelty and Stephen Waterson will face a retrial for manslaughter at a later date

The Old Bailey had heard how Alfie had collapsed on the journey back to Croydon from a shopping trip to Sutton, south London, in February last year. He died in hospital three days later.

Following a trial, Hoare was found guilty of child cruelty and assaulting Emilie Williams, who was in the car when Alfie was fatally hurt.

Hoare had also admitted plotting to pervert the course of justice in the wake of her son’s death.

Waterson faces a retrial for Alfie’s manslaughter in September.

Mitigating for Hoare, Katy Thorne QC said Alfie had been a ‘happy child’ and there were no issues of neglect before the events leading to his death.

She told the court: ‘Ms Hoare has been hugely affected by Alfie’s death, not least because she feels a huge amount of guilt over it.

‘Ms Hoare is deeply remorseful of what happened in that car that night.’

Mr Justice Kerr jailed Hoare for two years for cruelty plus eight months for perverting the course of justice and one month for assault, all consecutive.

He told her: ‘This is a very sad case. You intended no harm to Alfie.

‘You put him in danger by allowing him to travel in the footwell of the car. There was an element of deliberate disregard for Alfie’s welfare.

‘I cannot ignore your own admission that you had allowed him to travel in the footwell many times.’

He said Hoare failed to tell paramedics and doctors what happened and should have disclosed ‘anything that might have helped him’.

‘I accept and bear in mind you lost Alfie, your only child. That is punishment already.

‘I accept you are remorseful although it did not show very much because you were numb in your trial.’