THE Droitwich neighbours of the house where Alfie Steele lived before his death tried their best to raise concerns for the child's safety. 

Dirk Howell, 41, of Princip Street, Birmingham, has been found guilty of murdering the nine-year-old while Alfie's mother, Carla Scott, 35, of Vashon Drive, was found guilty of manslaughter following a six-week trial. 

During the trial the court heard how neighbours raised concerns about the family. 

Scott moved into the house in November 2018, getting into a relationship with Howell in July 2019. 

Worcester News: HOME: Vashon Drive, DroitwichHOME: Vashon Drive, Droitwich

Within months, in August 2019, neighbour Michaela Hardwick records Alfie outside his home banging on a garden gate as he cried and screamed: “let me in.”

The screams lasted at least 20 minutes, the trial heard.

In March 2020 social services hold legal discussions on whether to remove Alfie from Scott's care after concerns. 

Because Scott is 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.

In April that year a neighbour called 999 to say he was concerned about what was happening at Alfie's shome. 

He told the police he could hear "really worrying" noises coming from the semi-detached property.

Worcester News: TRIAL: Alfie SteeleTRIAL: Alfie Steele

"I can't ignore this," he said, calling the noises "horrendous" saying it sounded like a child was in distress.

In May neighbours called 999 saying something was not right and that Alfie was being made to stand outside like a statue. 

in August 2020 neighbour Gemma Allcott called 999 raising concerns about the noises from the house. 

"It sounds like my neighbours are doing something bad to their kid in the bath - like they are really hurting them," she says in the call.

The neighbour adds it sounded like a child was being hit and held under the water.

On that occasion, Scott went round to confront the neighbours, but Ms Allcott doesn't answer, fearing a confrontation.

Six months later emergency services attended the home and could not save the nine-year-old.