Reid Steele: Mum denies murder of two-year-old son at their Bridgend home

WS190821 NATALIE STEELE
Natalie Steele, 31, is accused of killing her two-year-old son.

A mum has denied the murder of her toddler son found submerged in bath water at their Bridgend home.

Natalie Steele, 31, is accused of killing two-year-old Reid Steele described as "super, super-happy" by his family.

She appeared in court on Monday (November 29) via videolink from a secure hospital where she denied the murder little Reid in August this year.

Steele, dressed in a grey jumper and with her brown hair tied up, spoke only to confirm her name, date of birth and enter her not guilty plea to murder.

Natalie Steele has denied murdering her son Reid Credit: South Wales Police/PA

An inquest heard Reid was found unconscious by his grandmother after allegedly drowning in bathwater.

Peter Rouch QC, defending, told Cardiff Crown Court that reports were being made into Steele's mental state at the time of the killing.

Reid was found at 7.30pm in August at the family home in Broadlands, Bridgend, South Wales.

But the hearing was told he was pronounced dead the next day on August 12.

The inquest in Pontypridd was adjourned to await the outcome of criminal proceedings.

Reid was taken to hospital from an address in the Broadland's area of Bridgend

Carpet company worker Natalie Steele has been remanded in custody to appear in Cardiff Crown Court on November 26.

In a tribute, Reid's family said: "He was a super, super-happy, gorgeous, wonderful and intelligent little boy who lit up everyone’s lives. He loved the garden and the beach, picking raspberries and going for walks collecting shells.

"He was a very chatty little boy and would happily speak to anyone."

The toddler, just two months away from his third birthday when he died, was described by relatives as a treasured and "perfect" nephew, grandson, great-grandson and cousin.

The family are trying to raise money for the Noah's Ark children's unit at the Cardiff hospital where he spent his last night.

Tributes were paid to remember the toddler who died at his home in Broadlands, Bridgend.

The family said: "Reid was honestly the most energetic, happy, intelligent, beautiful and loved child we have ever met. He was able to count to 10 in three languages.

"He frequently asked 'Are you okay?' whenever he spoke to anyone because he cared for everything and everyone.

"His favourite things were Bob the Builder, Winnie the Pooh and the Heffalump, the beach, shells and pebbles, diggers, flowers and nature. Reid lit up everyone’s lives. He adored the songs You Are My Sunshine, This Little Light of Mine and Bob the Builder.

"We miss him with every fibre of our beings. Reid never experienced evil or pain in his little life, he was so adored by all of us. We miss him every single day. He was the most beautiful and precious angel to grace the earth. If anyone of you were able to have met him in his short life, you will understand exactly what we mean."

His family continued: "Sadly, he lost his fight on August 12. We cannot put into words how utterly amazing the staff were at the ward. They allowed Reid’s grandparents to stay overnight to be close to him and supplied a care package for them including a t-shirt, toothbrush etc.

"They allowed all six of us to visit him in pairs whilst he fought for his life. We will never be able to express our appreciation of how amazing they were. They did everything they possibly could to save his life and went above and beyond to ensure we were all supported the whole time. They allowed us in a separate room to grieve and had a room for us to eat and drink if we so needed.

"We want to raise as much money as we can in Reid’s memory for Noah’s Ark, he would’ve loved this. His favourite story was also Noah’s Ark so it seems very fitting to fundraise for this charity. Any donations will make a huge difference to all of the other families and children needing care. Thank you so much."

Cardiff Crown Court heard a potential trial would last around a week and was scheduled to take place from May 3 next year.