THE twisted mum of a little girl who pleaded “stop mummy, stop daddy” and died after being stamped on has today been found guilty of her murder, The Sun reports. Ayeeshia Jane Smith was just 21-months-old when she died from terrible injuries normally seen in car crash victims. Today her mum Kathryn Smith, 23, was found guilty of her murder and child cruelty by a jury.
Little Ayeeshia, known as AJ, suffered a fatal collapse at home just over three weeks after Derbyshire County Council social services had discussed taking the youngster into care over fears Smith was a victim of domestic abuse. Smith wept uncontrollably in the dock, dabbing away the tears after the jury convicted her of cruelty and subjecting her only child to such a violent end.
The toddler’s mother claimed she had left Rigby alone with her daughter for “a couple of moments” when she went to get some juice, while in his evidence her ex-partner told jurors it “must have been her”. Rigby and Smith had also been in a relationship right up until the start of the trial.
Smith gave a silver-coloured locket containing the dead girl’s ashes to Rigby while at court and the pair were also seen embracing in a private room, off the court dock. A serious case review has been launched by the Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board to look at health and social services’ involvement in the lead-up to the child’s collapse.
The court heard her horrific injury happened after Rigby stamped on little Ayeeshia in a “moment of explosive temper”.A jury at Birmingham crown court was also told Rigby punched the paramedic who arrived at their home in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffs, to save the toddler’s life Neighbour Tracey Roberts told the jury she frequently heard arguing and loud noises coming from the couple’s flat.
She said: “I heard what sounded like an argument, and screaming, then I heard what I thought was a child’s voice. “It was a short, different voice, and sounded young. I could hear the voice say ‘stop mummy, stop daddy’ and sounded upset.” Social services discussed taking the toddler into care three weeks before she was murdered but failed to act on their concerns.
Smith had “told a health visitor she was such a crap mother”. She also told cops her baby daughter was “stupid”. Speaking to cops after the 21-month-old’s tragic death, Smith claimed her daughter was covered in bruises because “she was that stupid”. Cruel Smith had also not fed the tragic tot for a WEEK before she died, a court heard.
She had texted her parents two days before Ayeeshia died saying she had not been able to afford to feed her. Police said the couple kept powerful skunk cannabis in the toddler’s Tommy Tippee drinking cup. Drug liaison officer PC Mark Quick said: “On June 12, 2014, I was handed a police evidence bag containing a plastic Tommy Tippee cup containing cannabis vegetation.”
Both Rigby and Smith had denied killing little Ayeeshia in May 2014. The pair had an on-off relationship in the months before the tot’s death. Rigby, an apprentice electrician from Nottingham, said the injuries occurred as a result of desperate CPR he carried out on Ayeeshia. He accused the little girl’s mum of being out buying cannabis at the time.
Smith, also of Nottingham, denied a separate charge of causing or allowing the death of a child and cruelty. Mrs Justice Geraldine Andrews said she would sentence Smith and Rigby on Monday.
Timeline of events
July 15, 2012 – Ayeeshia Jane Smith is born at 38 weeks to Kathryn Smith weighing 5lbs 13oz, with a consultant paediatrician observing: “In all respects it was a routine birth”. Social services hold a child protection conference a month prior to the birth.
September 10 – A review child protection conference is held where concerns are discussed about the number of health and social services appointments Smith is missing.
Autumn 2012 – Concerns are raised by social services about Smith’s relationship with a man called Joshua Collier over domestic violence allegations and the impact that could have on Ayeeshia. Health visitors record that otherwise, the baby appears to be doing well and has “a good relationship” with the mother.
May 16, 2013 – Social services make an application to the court and an Interim Supervision Order is made regarding Ayeeshia, where it is agreed Smith will go and live with her mother in Buckinghamshire to move away from the domestic troubles in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.
June 1 – Another report of domestic violence, after Smith returns to Swadlincote.
June 5 – Social services are granted another Interim Supervision Order and Ayeeshia is placed into foster care.
June 20 – In a home visit to the foster carer by Ayeeshia’s health visitor, the fostering family report the little girl was “wary of men” and also only seemed to be used to feeding by taking milk from a bottle. The foster carer managed over time to get Ayeeshia on a better diet, eating solids, and drinking water and juice.
September 4 – A meeting with social services takes place where it is agreed Smith has made significant progress during the time Ayeeshia has been in care.
October 2 – Social services agree Ayeeshia should be returned to the care of her mother, despite concerns raised by the foster family that Smith was not sticking to a feeding routine regarding the toddler.
November 2013 – There are indications of an on-going but what the prosecution calls an “ambivalent” relationship with Matthew Rigby during this period.
January 2 – January 4, 2014 – Separate domestic incidents involving arguments between Smith and Rigby and damage to property at the family home are reported.
January 7 – Supervision order review meeting takes place where injuries to Ayeeshia were seen, noted to be a cut to her bottom left lip and the underside of her chin, together with a bald patch on the back of her head. This led to a child protection medical examination being carried out by doctors.
February 3 – Ayeeshia is admitted to Queen’s Hospital in Burton-upon-Trent after suffering a seizure at home, diagnosed by doctors at the time as a “febrile fit”.
A consultant paediatrician later told the jury this had all the hallmarks of an “apparent life-threatening event”, which – if spotted – would have triggered a rigorous examination of the child’s under-lying health. Her weight is recorded as 22lbs (10.01kg)
February – Smith and Ayeeshia move from the flats in Alexandra Road, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, to a flat in Britannia Drive in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire.
April 1 – Smith tells social worker Stephen Crean she is no longer in a relationship with Rigby.
April 4 – Smith dials 999 to report Smith to police, later telling them he has threatened to burn down the flat.
April 16 – Ayeeshia is taken to see a dermatologist at Derby Children’s Hospital over the bald patch on her head, and a possible diagnosis the child was suffering from alopecia. An expert paediatricain later tells the jury it is a possiblity the bald patch on the back of the child’s head could have happened if someone pulled the hair out.
April 23 – Smith takes her daughter to the child’s health clinic for her two-year weight check, where the toddler measures 20lbs (9.14kg), however the weight loss since the February hospital admission is over-looked because the health visitor does not have access to those records.
May 1 – A 999 call is made by Smith and Rigby following Ayeeshia’s collapse at home. She is admitted to A&E at Burton hospital but later dies.