THE risk posed by the killer mother of Alfie Steele was missed and should have been recognised by authorities earlier, a review has said. 

A Child Safeguarding Practice Review has said professionals at the time were "fixed in their thinking" that Carla Scott was being coercively controlled by Dirk Howell - despite there being no evidence. 

Alfie died at his home in Vashon Drive, Droitwich, in February 2021.

Scott, 35, of Vashon Drive, Droitwich, was found guilty of manslaughter after a trial last year and she was later jailed for for 27 years, serving at least 17.

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

Her partner Howell, 41, of Princip Street, Birmingham, was jailed for life for murder with a minimum term of 32 years.

The report said: "Initially it was believed that Scott might have been coerced or groomed by Howell or that as these were early days of the relationship that she had not witnessed his anger or aggression.

"As time went on there was clear evidence that Howell behaved in aggressive and abusive ways to Alfie and not only did she not report it, but actively lied about Howell being present.

"Howell was found to be at the property at different times of the day and in the early hours of the morning indicating a greater presence in the home.

"Scott would deny his presence, he would often be found somewhere in the home when police or social workers went looking (and there was inconsistency in this) and would then be asked to leave.

"In the absence of any information to support the initial concern that Carla Scott was being coercively controlled by Dirk Howell, the risk that Carla Scott presented to Alfie as a perpetrator should have been recognised earlier."

The signs were there for the authorities. 

In March 2020 Scott was physically abusive to Alfie. 

Worcester News: BOY: Alfie SteeleBOY: Alfie Steele

The report said police investigated injuries on Alfie but there were always "causal explanations given by Alfie or Carla Scott".

To social workers, the report said: "There were times that the explanation of injuries (from Alfie) was slightly inconsistent or hesitant and that Alfie’s demeanour was of slight concern.

"The physical abuse by Scott and Howell was not responded to in an authoritative way.

"When Alfie spoke about being hit by Carla Scott, this led to no discernible action from his perspective.

"Scott was informed of what Alfie had told professionals without discussion of whether this put him at risk of reprisal.

"Given his nervousness and distress at times, which was so well described in the school nurse health assessment in preparation for the strategy meeting in March 2020, more thought needed to be given to the potential outcome of sharing this information with Scott and by association with Howell."

The trial heard Scott had tried to cover up the death from the moment she made the first 999 call on the day of Alfie's death - claiming Alfie had fallen asleep in the bath.

The bodyworn footage of police showed Scott telling police the boy had "bashed his head' in the bath.