A MAN who beat a two-year-old boy to death has been found guilty of murder and jailed for life with a minimum of 17 years.

Daniel Rigby, aged 23, from Tyldesley, had denied murdering his girlfriend's son in what the prosecution called a "wicked attack".

But a jury of six men and six women refused to believe that he would never harm Rio Smedley, who had 91 separate injuries on his body and died from a ruptured liver.

Rigby claimed the child fell down the stairs while in his care in Cheriton Drive, Breightmet.

A trial at Manchester Crown Court also found Rio's mother guilty of allowing or causing the death of a child. Her sentence has been adjourned, awaiting reports.

The prosecution said she had failed to protect her son from Rigby - a man she had previously reported to police for violently attacking her while she was pregnant.


Earlier the court was told that Rio's injuries were likely to have been caused by "heavy blows" from "punches, kicks, knees and stamping".

Simon Phillips QC, for the prosecution, accused Rigby of "striking Rio with such force as to split his liver in two" at about 4.30pm on April 22 this year.

He said the attack was part of "a sustained and violent attack" and described it as "a wicked attack on a defenceless two-year-old child".

Jan Urey, Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “This was a wicked attack against a vulnerable and defenceless child, perpetrated by Daniel Rigby. The injuries suffered by Rio were brutal and could not have been inflicted accidentally, as Rigby had claimed in an attempt to hide what he had done.

“Today, a jury has decided that Rigby caused Rio’s death and that Kirsty Smedley betrayed her responsibility to keep her child safe from Rigby’s violence.”

A council spokesman said: “This was a tragic set of circumstances and we would like to offer our sympathy to the family and friends of Rio.

Bolton Safeguarding Children Board has commissioned an independently chaired and written Serious Case Review. The review will examine the roles of all agencies involved with the family and look at whether there are lessons to be learned by any or all agencies and is likely to be published in the new year.”