CLOSING speeches are underway in the trial of Dirk Howell and Carla Scott who are accused of the murder of nine-year-old Alfie Steele. 

Howell, 41, and Scott, 35, are both accused of murdering the child at the family home in Vashon Drive on February 18, 2021. 

In her closing address, prosecutor Michelle Heeley KC said the evidence the jury had heard during the five-week trial at Coventry Crown Court had been distressing but had painted a picture of long-term abuse.

Ms Heeley said by the time Scott called 999 at 2.24pm Alfie Steele was already dead lying on her floor. 

Worcester News: REMEMBERED: Alfie SteeleREMEMBERED: Alfie Steele

She pointed to his body temperature being 23C when it should be 37C suggesting it made "perfect sense" the child had been submerged in cold water before his death. 

During the trial, the jury heard about a potential cause of death being an epileptic fit. 

Ms Heeley pointed out, if the death had been from Alfie's first fit, Howell would have had no reason to run from the scene and Scott would not have had to lie. 

The prosecutor said Howell had "latched" on to an epileptic fit as a way of explaining the death, calling it a "smokescreen" with no evidence. 

Worcester News: TRIAL: Dirk HowellTRIAL: Dirk Howell (Image: West Mercia Police)

Ms Heeley said Alfie's school did what they could but when Covid arrived Scott and Howell saw it as a chance to keep Alfie away from "prying eyes" by keeping him at home. 

She told the jury they could not ignore the "horrendous bruising" Alfie had on his body.

The prosecutor said Scott was "just as complicit" in Alfie's murder and chose Howell time and time again over her son. 

"Because of that choice Alfie died," Ms Heeley said. 

"Both defendants wanted to seriously harm Alfie that day. 

"They lost their temper, killed him. They then began the cover-up."

In her closing speech on Wednesday, (June 7) Rachel Brand KC, for Scott, asked the jury to take out the emotion and focus on the evidence. 

Worcester News: TRIAL: Carla ScottTRIAL: Carla Scott (Image: SWNS/West Mercia Police)

"The prosecution's case has been, at times, to throw as much mud as possible in the hope it will stick," the barrister said. 

Highlighting an example she said the prosecution had tried to say there was "something sinister" in the decision by Scott to not send Alfie to school at the outbreak of Covid. 

Ms Brand pointed out Scott gave the explanation she was shielding him due to Alfie's asthma. 

Addressing concerns Alfie had been starved, Ms Brand pointed out the boy showed no signs of malnutrition.

READ MORE: Alfie Steele trial: Dirk Howell tells jury says 'I didn't kill him'

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Ms Brand said neighbours may have known about Howell's reputation and perhaps made reports to police as part of an attempt to move the family out.

Ms Brand added there was "no reliable evidence" Scott had participated in a violent attack on the boy, or encouraged or assisted Howell in an attack before Alfie's death. 

Earlier Judge Mark Wall KC gave legal directions on how to reach their verdict. 

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.