Stephen Waterson was jailed for the death of Alfie Lamb in 2019, after reversing his car seat into the child while he was playing in the footwell behind. However, despite being sentenced to seven and a half years, news has emerged that he is now free.
In 2018, Waterson was returning home from a shopping trip in South London when he got into his Audi and reversed his electronic car seat onto the toddler.
The child began crying and choking, but his mother, Adrian Hoare, told him to “shut up” before Waterson, the son of a former Tory MP, moved the seat back.
By the time all three arrived at Waterson’s home in Croydon, little Alfie had collapsed and stopped breathing.
Three days after the event, on February 4 that year, he died at St Thomas’ Hospital in south London.
Alfie Lamb began crying and choking, but his mother, Adrian Hoare, told him to ‘shut up’ (Image: Supplied)
Waterson was previously described by police as “arrogant, selfish and deeply unpleasant”.
He attempted to avoid prosecution by repeatedly lying and intimidating witnesses.
At an initial trial, Waterson denied manslaughter and the jury were unable to reach a verdict.
However, on the first day of the retrial at the Old Bailey, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
The judge told Waterson that he was ‘manipulative, dishonest, deceitful, controlling, threatening’ (Image: PA)
Sentencing, Mr Justice Timothy Kerr told Waterson that he was “manipulative, dishonest, deceitful, controlling, threatening, and sometimes violent”.
He added: “You are, I accept, now genuinely remorseful. […] But your remorse comes late and follows a denial of any responsibility for Alfie’s death in your defence statement.”
Mr Justice Kerr noted in his sentencing that Waterson had been filmed helping a friend beat and intimidate a witness.
He also noted that Waterson had in 2014 beaten a former girlfriend, and had seven prior convictions for thirteen offences.
The judge said that Waterson had “orchestrated the campaign of lies, assisted by Ms Hoare, who had the misfortune to fall in love with you and was willing to lie to protect you and herself.”
His concealment of the truth – including attempting to sell the car under a different name – led to the police investigation being delayed by “several weeks”.
Waterson was not due to be released until 2023 and is on parole until 2025.
A source close to the family said they only found out Waterson had been released after he had already been freed.
Hoare, a hairdresser, was jailed in May 2019 after being convicted of child cruelty.
Her two years and nine months prison sentence was also cut short.
However, Hoare was recalled to prison last year for breaching her parole. She was cleared of manslaughter.