A MAN accused of murder denied doing anything to Alfie Steele on the day he died or killing the boy.

Dirk Howell also said he left Alfie's home in Vashon Drive, Droitwich, before paramedics arrived as he "didn't want to be around."

Howell, 41, and his fiancee Carla Scott, 35, are both accused of murdering the nine-year-old on February 18, 2021. 

Answering questions from his barrister on Monday, (May 5) Alisdair Williamson KC, Howell said he had stayed at the home the night before, despite a ban on doing so by social services. 

Worcester News: TRIAL: Dirk HowellTRIAL: Dirk Howell

Howell said he had got up, had a wash, and "chilled" in the upstairs bedroom listening to music. 

"Carla burst into the bedroom," the defendant said. 

"She had Alfie in her arms. 

"I said 'What's happened?'

"She said he's not breathing - I said, 'phone the ambulance'."

Howell told the jury he jumped out of bed and performed CPR on Alfie, while Scott was on the phone. 

Worcester News: BOY: Alfie SteeleBOY: Alfie Steele

The barrister asked what the defendant's state of mind had been at the time. 

"I was (expletive)," Howell said.

"Sorry about my language."

Howell was asked why he had then left the house. 

"I think I said to Carla 'I can't do this' and (expletive) off," the defendant replied.

"I didn't want to be around that situation - my head was a mess."

After leaving the house Howell took a circular route around the estate and returned to the end of Vashon Drive where he could see the emergency services were at the home. 

Mr Williamson asked: "Did you think about going back?"

"No I don't think so," Howell answered. 

Worcester News: SCENE: The house in Vashon DriveSCENE: The house in Vashon Drive

Mr Williamson asked: "Do you know how Alfie died?"

"No, I could guess."

The judge then interjected saying he did not want the defendant to guess.

Michelle Heeley KC, prosecuting, began cross-examination by asking Howell "Do you like hitting kids?"

Howell replied no.

Howell said Alfie had not been dunked in cold baths - but Ms Heeley pointed out Howell had admitted doing that in his defence statement to the court.

In a tense exchange, Howell eventually said he had lied in the defence statement.

Howell said he had tried to "separate the counts."

Howell then said: "There is no evidence, you don't even know how he (Alfie) died."

Asked why he had lied to his own lawyers in preparing the defence statement, Howell replied: "I don't trust anybody when it comes to this."

At one point in his evidence, after being asked about lies to the police, Howell said: "I have a distaste for the police. 

"They are liars."

Worcester News: TRIAL: Carla ScottTRIAL: Carla Scott

And, asked about what neighbours said they had seen, he accused them of lying, adding those on the estate thought they were posh and looked down on him.

Asked about leaving the house before paramedics arrived Ms Heeley asked: "At the time you thought Alfie was dead?"

"Yes," Howell replied. 

Howell was told, if he had done nothing wrong, there was no reason to run and go to Droitwich Railway Station, where he was arrested.

"You have to be in my situation, it is alright making assumptions," Howell said. 

"Do you have any explanation for seven bruises to his (Alfie's) head?" the prosecutor asked.

"No," Howell replied. 

Worcester News: TRIAL: The trial is being held at Coventry Crown CourtTRIAL: The trial is being held at Coventry Crown Court (Image: Sam Greenway/Newsquest)

After other questions Howell asked what was being suggested, Ms Heeley replied: "I'm suggesting you killed Alfie."

I didn't," Howell answered. 


READ MORE: Alfie Steele trial: Moment police arrive after Carla Scott phoned 999

READ MORE: Alfie Steele trial: Carla Scott tells jury co-accused told her to lie

READ MORE: Alfie Steele trial: Witness saw man screaming at boy in Droitwich


Howell was stopped from asking the prosecutor questions. His Honourable Justice Mark Wall KC stepped in telling Howell "You are not to cross-examine anybody."

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 Coventry Crown Court trial continues.