A man accused of crushing his girlfriend’s toddler with his car seat has told jurors he was “framed” over the death.
Stephen Waterson, 25, allegedly twice pushed the front passenger seat of his Audi convertible into three-year-old Alfie Lamb who was in the footwell behind.
He is on trial at the Old Bailey alongside his partner Adrian Hoare, 23, who, it is claimed, failed to stop it.
There were four adults in the Audi and two children in the rear footwell on the journey from Sutton to Croydon in south London on February 1 last year, jurors have heard.
Giving evidence, Waterson denied deliberately pushing his seat into Alfie after losing his temper.
He told jurors he moved back no more than an inch then forward again when he was asked to.
Cross-examining for Hoare, Katy Thorne QC, said: “On your account Mr Waterson, it could not have been the seat that cause his death and you have been framed horribly for Alfie’s death.”
Waterson said: “That’s correct.”
The lawyer went on: “Just help us with one thing then please Mr Waterson, how did Alfie die?”
The defendant replied: “That’s what I want to find out as well.”
Ms Thorne said: “There’s nothing that happened in that car that you saw or heard that would explain how he came to his death?”
Waterson said: “Alfie was at some stage being shouted at by Adrian.”
But the defence lawyer pointed out: “That would not kill you though.”
On Waterson’s account, Ms Thorne asserted: “That’s just rubbish, is it not, because you actually did move that seat back not once, but twice.
“What you have done Mr Waterson is lie and lie and lie about this incident.”
Waterson admitted lying in a police statement.
He went on to say Hoare had told him she “blamed herself” for Alfie’s death as they lay in bed together.
Asked if he bore any responsibility himself, he said: “I should have said something and not put the children in the car in the footwell.”
Waterson was asked why he was texting a string of other women while Alfie was in hospital gravely ill.
The nightclub worker, who has said he was in a state of panic and concern for the boy, insisted not all the relationships were romantic.
In the weeks before Alfie died, Hoare had moved in with him for a “new start”, he said.
Ms Thorne asked why she never had her own key and suggested Hoare was not allowed to have a mobile phone because he was “paranoid she would be in touch with other men”.
The father-of-two denied the suggestion, saying there was only one key because he had just moved in.
The court was told Hoare did not have her own bank account and all benefits for her and Alfie were paid into Waterson’s account.
Ms Thorne highlighted dozens of text messages in which Hoare was asking for money to buy food and clothes.
Waterson insisted: “There was no money of hers in that account at that time.”
The defendants have admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice but deny manslaughter.
Hoare also denies child cruelty and common assault on car passenger Emilie Williams.
Waterson has pleaded not guilty to intimidation of the driver Marcus Lamb.