THE NSPCC has said a review into Alfie Steele's death must establish if more could have been done to safeguard him. 

At Coventry Crown Court on Thursday, (June 15), Dirk Howell, 41, of Princip Street, Birmingham, was jailed for life for murder with a minimum term of 32 years while Carla Scott, 35, was jailed for 27 years, serving at least 17. 

A multi-agency review has been launched investigating the boy's death, which is set to report back later this year.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “It’s heart-rending that in the months before he died, young Alfie was the victim of a campaign of cruelty inflicted by his own mother and her partner, which culminated in his tragic death.

Worcester News: REMEMBERED: Alfie SteeleREMEMBERED: Alfie Steele (Image: West Mercia Police)

"Our hearts go out to those who loved and cared for this little boy during his short life.

“We know that concerns were raised about Alfie, and the Child Safeguarding Practice Review must establish whether more could have been done to safeguard him, so that in future the most vulnerable members of our society can be better protected.

READ MORE: Mother and her career criminal fiancee jailed for killing Alfie Steele

READ MORE: Alfie Steele: Dirk Howell guilty of murder, Carla Scott manslaughter

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“We would always encourage anyone with concerns for a child’s safety to contact the relevant authorities or the NSPCC Helpline, which provides free and confidential help and advice.”

The court heard during the six-week trial that Social Services missed an opportunity to prevent the death 11 months before. 

Worcester News: FLOWERS: The flowers left for Alfie SteeleFLOWERS: The flowers left for Alfie Steele (Image: Newsquest)

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. 

Earlier this week Stephen Eccleston, Independent Chair of Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership, said: “Members of the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership are shocked and saddened by the death of Alfie.

Worcester News: JAILED: Dirk Howell and Carla ScottJAILED: Dirk Howell and Carla Scott (Image: West Mercia Police)

"On behalf of the partnership I would like to take this opportunity to pass on our condolences to Alfie’s family.

“Following his death, we began a process of conducting a local Child Safeguarding Practice Review.

"With the completion of the trial, we will now be asking the independent reviewer to complete the review.

"The report is due to be published later this year and we will consider further comment at that time.”


  • Anyone with a concern about a child can contact the NSPCC's free and confidential helpline on 0808 800 5000 or by email