Alfie's Law: make it a criminal offence to leave someone to die without calling 999

Alfie's Law: make it a criminal offence to leave someone to die without calling 999

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Alfie Lawton was found unresponsive in a park at around 6.45pm on Monday 8th February 2021.  Since then, his family have been battling to get to the truth andit has been established that a friend was with Alfie until 5pm either dead or unconscious.  This friend has done everything he can since that horrendous day, to avoid giving us a full account of how Alfie came to die.

Alfie's Inquest took place on the 15th October and unfortunately, the Press are printing inaccuracies and a version of events that do not give the circumstances leading up to Alfie's death as clearly as we would like.

One huge point to note is they are reporting on what Alfie's friend said happened - because that is what they heard in the Inquest - rather than what others reported to have happened. The Inquest was not a criminal court of law and as such the 'friend' could answer questions exactly how he wished and could not be questioned or cross examined and even though he was given an opportunity to tell us the truth about Alfie's last moments, he instead chose to be vague and non-committal in his answers to the Coroner and our barrister, whilst his mother huffed and puffed beside him like we were a massive inconvenience to her day.

We would therefore urge you not to share Press coverage and instead this update instead.

Alfie died of 'Complications of Acute Alcohol Intoxication'.

Alfie did NOT die from alcohol poisoning, there was not enough alcohol in his system to poison him to death, this has actually been confirmed in his Post Mortem.

Instead Alfie died from Postural Asphyxiation - in short, him being upside down and intoxicated, and possibly sick whilst in that position, killed him. The formal definition of this is:

Positional asphyxia, also known as postural asphyxia, is a form of asphyxia which occurs when someone's position prevents the person from breathing adequately. ... People may die from positional asphyxia accidentally, when the mouth and nose are blocked, or where the chest may be unable to fully expand.

We don't know why on earth Alfie decided to drink that day - Lockdown made us all do strange things - but we do know this was his first foray into drinking with a friend (let's all remember he wasn't alone) and despite his friend's comments, we have not known Alfie to be drunk prior to that day.

Because Alfie drank a lot of alcohol in a short period of time and was a novice drinker, he became seriously intoxicated very quickly and as a result was in and out of consciousness within about 90 minutes of commencing drinking around 1:30pm on his way into Green Lane Park.

By 3.06pm Alfie could no longer form a sentence and we know this as fact because we have heard the recording of his last message to his girlfriend. Over the half an hour prior to that he sent a few more that we listened to and the decline in his ability to speak was incredibly rapid.
Alfie stopped answering or reading messages straight after sending this final voice note.

By 3.45pm Alfie could be heard groaning and moaning in the background whilst his friend was sending voice notes to a girl they both knew. On hearing Alfie in discomfort, she asked him if Alfie was ok. He told her they were both drunk, that he had drank a bottle of peach schnapps and Alfie was regretting drinking a bottle of vodka. A short while later he told her that Alfie had 'gone and passed out on him'. Twenty minutes later when she asked again how Alfie was, the friend lied and said they were on their way home. They were not. This girl has provided a statement to the police to this effect.

Between 4.15 and 4.45pm, 3 witnesses approached Alfie's friend and asked him if Alfie was ok because he was upside down on a very steep hill. Alfie did not appear to be moving and was making strange gurgling sounds but his friend said he was fine and told them to leave them alone. However it was noted that his friend was trying to wake Alfie by prodding him.

Alfie's friend told the police and the Inquest that Alfie was only unconscious once and was conscious and talking when he left him and he thought he was ok. This cannot be true. No one had reported Alfie fully conscious since 3.06pm on that last voice note.

Alfie's friend told police Alfie was lying horizontally rather than vertically on that hill. Everyone that saw Alfie, including two others and those that found him, all state that he had been upside down, not horizontal. Please note, had he been horizontal, he would still be here today.

The pathologist has confirmed that the longer Alfie was upside down, the more chance he had of suffering and dying from postural asphyxiation. We believe he was in that same position - backed up by witness statements - from 3:15pm until he died.

The pathologist confirmed to the Inquest that had Alfie had been turned around into a safe position, he would have lived.

We can confirm that Alfie took 3 cans of beer from home and drank one. His friend is on CCTV drinking the other with him. One further can was found in Alfie's bag unopened.

A bottle of vodka and a bottle of peach schnapps were found near Alfie. Both were empty. We do not know where this alcohol came from but his friend has advised that Alfie drank the vodka and he drank the peach schnapps.

Alfie's friend left Alfie around 5pm. He did very little to help Alfie's sister and mum find Alfie, only giving in when his mum visited his home - and even then saying 'I think he went to the park' and giving a very vague description of his whereabouts, despite knowing his exact location.

When Alfie was found, he was unresponsive and cold. He had been sick. He was on his side (new information), still upside down. The word hypothermia was used loosely in the Post Mortem but wasn't a cause of death, instead it was noted that at around 7pm when he started to receive medical attention, he was too cold and attempts were made to warm him up.

Following the announcement of his death, his friend posted in a group comment that he saw Alfie have a fit or a heart attack, and then he quickly deleted that comment.

He took 4 police interviews and advice that he was on CCTV and various social media to fully admit he was drinking with Alfie that day.

He told police that he offered Alfie an ambulance before leaving him that day. When asked in the Inquest why he would need an ambulance if he was conscious and fine as he had earlier stated, he stumbled on his words. When asked why he felt Alfie was horizontal instead of vertical he said he might have misremembered.

I could tell you much more about his inconsistencies and the utter lack of emotion shown by him and his mum yesterday, but to be honest, I am exhausted by this boy and his lies.

OUR OPINION as a family is that his friend drank with Alfie and all was well and good until Alfie was out of his depth. On seeing Alfie drifting in and out of consciousness, gurgling, groaning and struggling, his friend realised the enormity of Alfie's situation and made the unforgivable decision to get himself out of looming trouble and go home. Given his comment on social media about seeing Alfie die, we are steering towards thinking that may well have happened but we will never know until he tells us.

It doesn't matter if he knew being upside down was dangerous, what matters is Alfie was clearly in a very bad state even 15 minutes before he left him and he still went ahead and went home. We still feel strongly that his friend had ample opportunity to help him, including taking offered help from passers by, and we know from the pathologist that he could have saved Alfie's life. We therefore will forever hold him accountable for Alfie's death. 15 or not, if you watch someone suffering and leave them to suffer - there is something very wrong with you and you should be held accountable for your actions.

We have done all we can to get to the truth and only one boy really knows what happened that day. We therefore reserve the right to conclude the above from what we have been told and have seen. It was shocking actually to see how chirpy he was yesterday, even a bit smirky from time to time. Absolute disgrace.

I am not allowing comments on this post because I do not have the energy for trolls, if you disagree with this post, scroll on, we have been through enough already and have the right to our opinion. However, you can rest assured that we have sat through mountains of information and read statements, reports and seen tons of social media accounts and messages. We have come to this conclusion with evidence supporting it, not because we need someone to blame. He is not to blame for Alfie drinking beyond his capabilty, let's face it we have all done that - but he is to blame for leaving his friend alone, drunk, sick and in a remote spot in the dark with little hope of being found. That is unforgiveable.

Educate your children to always look out for their friends but also, please always look out for strangers. Up to 7 people had the opportunity to call 999 that day and that would have saved Alfie - he would have been turned the right way round, warmed up and given a stern telling off. Instead he is buried in the ground, forever 15.

Rest in Peace Alfie, we all love you to infinity, and beyond and will do all we can to get the law passed here to make walking away a criminal offence.

If you would like to help us with this please sign our petition.  Thank you x

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