Mother jailed for letting her son die at the hands of her boyfriend who hit him so hard his liver was split in two Kirsty Smedley, 24, put her lover Daniel Rigby ahead of son Rio
She was jailed for four years for allowing the toddler's death
Rigby has been jailed for a minimum of 17 years for murder
17:08 GMT, 21 December 2012
A woman who allowed the death of her two-year-old son at the hands of her murdering boyfriend has been jailed for four years.
'Infatuated' Kirsty Smedley, 24, put her desire to please Daniel Rigby ahead of son Rio, who suffered 91 injuries all over his body.
The fatal blow was delivered to the youngster’s stomach and split his liver in two after Smedley left her home in Bolton to get cash to buy cannabis for her boyfriend.
Tragic: Rio Smedley, pictured left, was left in the care of Daniel Rigby by his mother Kirsty Smedley, right. He was found to have 91 injuries and his liver was split in two
She was convicted last month in a trial at Manchester Crown Court of allowing his death after the court heard she knew her son had received two nasty injuries to his backside and head the day before when Rigby was looking after him.
Rigby, 23, from Tyldesley, Wigan, was sentenced to life last month and ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years after he was found guilty of the murder on April 22 at Smedley’s former home in Cheriton Drive, Breightmet.
Daniel Rigby, pictured holding a baby, was found guilty of murdering two-year-old Rio whilst he was supposed to be looking after him and jailed for a minimum of 17 years
The injuries were inflicted in the space of three hours and included significant bruising to both his feet caused by stamping.
Smedley who has already been pregnant seven times was castigated by the judge for having 'an irresponsible view
of obligations of a mother' after he heard how she put her love life
Sentencing her, Mr Justice MacKay said the jury’s verdict meant they were sure she knew or ought to have known there was a significant risk of serious harm to her son.
He told Smedley: 'At no stage did you do anything to protect Rio from his fate. He must have suffered greatly before his death.
'You should never have left him that night. It was quite clear that Rio was at risk. You were infatuated with Rigby at the time and I think you still are, or at least during the trial.
'At the top of your list was a need to please him (Rigby).'
Doctors said he was beaten viciously
his injuries were similar to being kicked repeatedly by a horse or being
involved in a road accident
The mother of two had been headbutted,
slapped across the face and called a 'fat slag' by 23-year Rigby during a stormy relationship.
Yet even though he
was arrested and banned from contacting her she was so infatuated
she dropped charges against him – even though her son Rio had had previous unexplained bruises.
The pair had only kissed and made up
after a row just 48 hours earlier but Smedley paid the deadly price for
inviting Rigby back into her home when he battered her son senseless.
Kirsty Smedley, left, was so keen to impress her boyfriend Daniel Rigby, pictured right, that she did not think about the safety of her toddler
The judge noted that she had shown no remorse over Rio’s death and the only time she showed distress was when her 999 call to the emergency services was played in court.
The tragedy occurred whilst Smedley was heavily pregnant with a third child – but had not told Rigby someone else was the father.
She only revealed the truth in a witness box when she was testifying at a trial over the toddler’s death.
Whilst awaiting trial she fell pregnant again to a neighbour but she had a termination in prison two weeks ago – and is now considering sterilisation, the judge was told.
She was said to have been exposed to a chaotic upbringing and suffered a traumatic assault at the age of 15.
Smedley is of low IQ, has low self-esteem and as a consequence sought solace in a string of sexual relationships – moving on to the next man when abandoned, her QC Robert Woodcock said.
He said she did not believe Rigby posed the 'slightest threat' to Rio.
Rio was beaten to death at his house in Cheriton Drive, Breightmet, Bolton, pictured. The jury found Smedley knew leaving him with her lover left him at risk
Mr Justice MacKay told Smedley, who will be released on licence halfway through her sentence: 'I hope you will take the assistance that the prison will give you.
'I hope it will lead to some realisation that you need to take control of your life in a different way.'
Following sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector 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.
A police officer stands guard outside Smedley's former home in April where tiny Rio recieved 91 injuries including a split liver which caused his death
'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.'
Her two surviving children will now be cared for by foster carers and she has made little effort to contact them.
Smedley began dating Rigby, who has previous for or assault, public order matters and car theft, in 2011
Last January she announced she was three months pregnant with her second child but Rigby punched and slapping Smedley in the belief she had been texting other men.
Smedley, pictured left leaving Manchester Crown Court, has been pregnant seven times and Rigby, right, was not Rio's father
Friends recalled how he also headbutted her and kicked her in the head during a row in the kitchen whilst waiting for her to 'get him some money'.
Last March 21 when Smedley was five months pregnant, Rigby punched her in the face grabbed her by the cheeks, pushed her into a door and headbutted her after claiming she was planning to have sex with other men.
He was arrested and bailed on condition he make no contact with her with Smedley telling her midwife how she feared Rigby would kill her. A social worker also urged Smedly to ring her if there were any further problems.
But on April 3 Smedley later withdrew a police statement she made about the attack and on April 20, Rigby was told no further action would be taken against him.
Flowers and a teddy bear were left in memory of tragic Rio outside the home where he was beaten to death earlier this year
He immediately returned to their home and that evening Smedley left him to care for Rio for an hour whilst she and a friend went off to pick up portions of fish chips from a nearby takeaway.
When Smedley returned home Rio already had red blotches on him and was feeling sick but she ignored the warning signs and instead went out again the next day to see relatives leaving the youngster at home with her violent boyfriend.
During that time Rigby sent a text to Smedley saying Rio had 'fallen off the arm of the couch' at his grandmother’s house when the dog jumped up at him' and another saying he had been hit with a plastic toy sword.
When she returned the youngster was sporting a bruise to his bottom, yet the following day the mother went out for a third time leaving Rio with Rigby.
She was eventually called in a text by Rigby who said Rio had fallen down the stairs. She rushed back home to find the youngster was not moving and his eyes “sunk” to the back of his head and dialled 999.
Rio was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital but later died of a ruptured liver caused by punches kicks and stamping.
A pathologist who examined Rio, found 91 separate marks of injury including 40 bruises and abrasions to his head and face, 11 bruises and abrasions to his abdomen, a 9.5cm x 3.7cm bruise to his buttock, seven bruises and abrasions to both his arms, and 20 injuries to his legs and feet.
A police officer surveys the home where Rio was killed by his mum's boyfriend just days after the pair had got back together
Prosecuting Simon Phillips QC said: 'Kirsty was infatuated or desperate to make her relationship with Rigby work.
'What she was fearful of wasn’t what might happen to her child but what might happen to her if she didn’t please him. Rio was very much second in her thoughts. He was not her priority.'
During the hearing Rigby held his head in his hands as Smedley revealed a DNA said had shown he was not the father of her second child. Earlier he had told the trial he never harmed Rio and insisted the youngster had fallen down the stairs.