A JURY heard teachers were concerned nine-year-old Alfie Steele was "constantly hungry" at school. 

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

Hayley Waldron, a Worcestershire Children's Services social worker who had dealings with the family, gave evidence at the Coventry Crown Court trial on Monday, (May 15). 

Miss Waldron was asked if they had spoken to Scott about his school's concerns in October 2020. 

Miss Waldron said Scott had become angry when asked and when she checked cupboards at the family home in Vashon Drive, Droitwich, had food.

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The social worker said Scott was advised to give Alfie a bigger breakfast or send him to school with extra snacks. 

Miss Waldron said, after the visit, Scott phoned later that day and explained Alfie hadn't asked for food and instead the dinner lady offered it. 

In cross-examination, Rachel Brand KC said: "She (Scott) told you he was the kind of kid who ate everything in sight," Miss Brand said.

"I said to get that checked," Miss Walron replied. 

Miss Waldron also confirmed there had been "no concerns" about the quantity of food found in the cupboards, under cross-examination.

The jury heard the family had been on a Child in Need plan and then, in October 2019, it was escalated to the more serious non-voluntary Child Protection Plan. 

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Michelle Heeley KC, prosecuting, asked whether (in September 2019) it had been confirmed with Scott that Howell could not have unsupervised contact with Alfie or stay overnight at the house. 

"Did she agree?," the barrister asked.

"She did," Miss Waldron said. 

The jury heard this was later enforced through the protection plan and it could not change until Howell had been assessed by social services. 

Miss Waldron said, during a November 2019 visit, Howell was at the home and they wanted him to take part in the risk assessment. 

When Scott went to get him Miss Waldron said she overheard him say: "I don't want to talk to the (expletive) social workers."

The social worker said there was then a discussion between Scott and Howell over who she would choose between him or Alfie. 

After Scott said Alfie, Miss Waldron noted Howell said it was the end of the relationship.

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Miss Waldron said, in March 2020, legal discussions took place on whether to remove Alfie from Scott's care after concerns. 

However, because Scott was seen to be working with social workers at that stage, it was deemed the situation did not cross the threshold for him to be removed. 

The jury also heard in the first lockdown children on safeguarding plans were allowed to go to school but Alfie didn't go. 

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Miss Waldron said Alfie's bad asthma was given as the reason he wasn't sent by Scott. 

"We continued to push it (for him to go)," Miss Waldron added.

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

The trial continues.