A TEACHING assistant told a jury she had seen Alfie Steele being screamed at in the street by a man.

Howell, 41, and Alfie Steele's mother, Carla Scott, 35, are both accused of the nine-year-old's murder.

Anita Nicholson gave evidence at the Coventry Crown Court trial on Friday, (May 12). 

She told the court she was aware of Alfie as he had gone to the same school she taught at. 

"He was gorgeous," the witness said. 

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"He used to come up and show me his work - he was so proud."

The witness said, in early 2020, she saw Alfie outside Droitwich Spa Health Centre with a man she didn't know. 

"I heard all this awful shouting," the witness said. 

"He was shouting at Alfie."

Michelle Heeley KC, prosecuting, asked how close the man - who the witness described as tall and wearing tracksuit bottoms - was to the boy. 

"As close as you can get," the witness replied. 

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Asked about body language, the witness demonstrated to the jury that the man had pointed at Alfie in a stabbing motion, saying it had been in Alfie's face. 

She described Alfie as being like a "little mannequin", stood frozen while it took place. 

The witness said Scott then arrived but did nothing.

"She walked straight past," the witness said.

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The witness was so concerned about what she saw she went on to make a report to the school, the jury heard.

"I was so upset about it," the witness added.  

PC Warren Edmunds, of Droitwich police, also gave evidence and said on March 2, 2020, he had been called to a report of shouting and swearing in St Andrew's Square. 

His bodyworn camera footage was played to the court and, in it, the officer was seen confronting Howell outside Specsavers about suspected public order offences.

Howell could be heard saying he had done nothing wrong before refusing to give his name and then giving a false name of Michael Jones. 

Alfie and Scott could be seen watching in the background before Howell was told he was free to leave.

The prosecutor asked: "Did you subsequently become aware you had spoken to Dirk Howell?"

"I did yes," PC Edmunds replied. 

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Earlier on Friday, a professor who examined Alfie Steele's brain said a possible cause of Alfie's death had been an injury to the brain which disrupted the heart rhythm. 

Professor Safa Al Sarraj, a professor in neuropathology, said examination of his brain after Alfie's death on February 18, 2021, showed the colour of the brain tissue was paler than it should be which indicated a reduction of blood coming to the brain. 

But, the doctor said, he was not able to say how that had been caused. 

In cross-examination Rachel Brand KC, for Scott, said it was correct the professor wouldn't be able to say if Alfie's head injury had been caused by something accidental or non-accidental.

The professor confirmed this.

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Howell, of Princip Street, Birmingham, has previously admitted child cruelty against other children but denies murder, manslaughter, cruelty or causing or allowing the death of Alfie.

Carla Scott, 35, denies murder, manslaughter, causing or allowing the death of Alfie and child cruelty offences against Alfie and other children.

The trial continues.