Killer jailed for 'chilling' child murder

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The Independent Online

A man has been jailed for a minimum of 17 years for the "chilling" murder of a two-year-old boy.

Daniel Rigby, 23, inflicted 91 separate injuries on his girlfriend's son in what the prosecution described as a "wicked attack on a defenceless child", Manchester Crown Court heard yesterday.

The victim, Rio Smedley, died from a ruptured liver on 22 April after suffering injuries that were likely to have been "punches, kicks, knees and stamping", according to medical experts, who rejected Mr Rigby's claims that his grandmother Doreen Rigby's dogs caused the toddler to fall off a chair and bang his head the day before he died.

The boy's mother, 24-year-old Kirsty Smedley, had previously reported Rigby to police for violently attacking her while she was pregnant. She was found guilty of allowing or causing the death of a child and will be sentenced later.

Mr Justice David MacKay told Rigby: "You abused that trust by punishing him physically in quite a revolting way. It's a chilling, terrible picture. He suffered considerably before he died, I am satisfied. He was a vulnerable boy. You abused your trust."