Mum jailed for her part in toddler son's death

Mum jailed for her part in toddler son's death

Victim Rio Smedley

Daniel Rigby

Kirsty Smedley

First published in North West

A  MOTHER has been jailed for four years for her part in allowing the death of her two-year-old son Rio.

Kirsty Smedley, aged 24, was found guilty at an earlier hearing of allowing the death of a child.

Her partner Daniel Rigby, aged 23, of Dorset Avenue Tyldesley, was sentenced to life imprisonment on November 2 for the murder of Rio after he was found guilty following a trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Rigby must serve a minimum of 17 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

On Saturday, April 21, Smedley left her two-year-old son Rio in the care of Rigby at her home in Breightmet.

Rigby had moved back in the house the day before, when he and Smedley had got back together after being separated for several weeks.

He took Rio to visit some of his relatives and at around 6.30pm he called Kirsty to say the toddler had fallen off an armchair and banged his head, which had caused a red mark.

Later that evening, Rigby phoned Kirsty again to tell her that whilst playing with a young child at the house of another relative, Rio had been hit with a toy sword.

The next day, Rio was again left in Rigby's care at their home while Kirsty went to visit relatives and friends.

At 4.15pm, Smedley made a call to Rigby who told her that Rio had fallen down the stairs. During calls and text messages over the next hour  Rigby said Rio had become floppy and unresponsive.

She arrived back at the home address at around 5.25pm where Rio was in a collapsed state. She rang 999 and under instruction from the emergency services operator, gave CPR to the two-year-old boy.

Paramedics arrived but Rio later died in hospital.

A Home Office post-mortem examination established that Rio died from severe abdominal injuries, which were non-accidental.

Rio had a total of 91 injuries and bruises to his body, the vast majority of which are believed to have been sustained within the 24 hours prior to his death.

Rigby claimed the bruising and marks to Rio's body had been caused accidentally while he had been visiting friends and relatives on the Saturday, but further police inquiries revealed this to be untrue.

Speaking after the sentencing today, Friday, Det Ch Insp Phil Reade said: "This is a shocking case in which an innocent and defenceless little boy has suffered appalling injuries at the hands of someone who had been trusted to look after him.

"Although Daniel and Kirsty have now both been jailed for their involvement in Rio’s death, this will go little way to ease the suffering of Rio’s family, who have lost their beloved little boy under such tragic circumstances."

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