British mother found guilty of cruelty over her child's death

The 21-month-old girl died from a heart laceration

Britain, Ayeeshia Jane Smith, guilty, mother, Kathryn Smith, Matthew Rigby

Kathryn Smith outside Birmingham Crown Court | Image: Joe Giddens / PA Wire/Press Association Images

In Britain, mother Kathryn Smith has been found guilty of murdering her 21-month-old daughter Ayeeshia Jane Smith.

Ayeeshia - known as AJ - died from a heart laceration and her injuries were said to have been caused by being stamped on at the family home in Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire on May 1st, 2014.

Doctors said it was the type of injury usually only seen in crash victims.

A post-mortem investigation showed a catalogue of other injuries the prosecution claimed were deliberately inflicted.

The child's stepfather Matthew Rigby (22) was also found guilty of causing or allowing her death. However, he was cleared of her murder.

The toddler was found to have suffered a bleed on the brain in the months before her death, linked to an incident in February of 2014 when she was admitted to hospital after collapsing.

Three weeks before Ayeeshia died, Derbyshire social services had discussed taking the youngster into care over concerns Smith (23) was a victim of domestic abuse, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

In a police interview, 22-year-old Rigby described what he said had happened on the day the toddler died.

He said he was outside tidying the garden while Smith was in the kitchen that afternoon.

Ayeeshia had been on the sofa watching TV but had taken herself to bed, which he told detectives was "strange".

After he finished gardening, he heard the child cry so the couple went to her bedroom where the girl was lying apparently lifeless in her cot.

Rigby said he attempted CPR while Smith dialled 999. He claimed the child's broken ribs may have been sustained during his attempts to revive her and told police he "never raised a hand" to the child.