Rio murder accused weeps in court
7:30am Thursday 25th October 2012 in News
THE man accused of murdering a two-year-old boy held his head in his hands and wept when his elderly grandmother broke down in tears while giving evidence in his trial.
Daniel Rigby, aged 23, from Tyldesley, is on trial at Manchester Crown Court where he stands accused of murdering his girlfriend's son, Rio Smedley.
Rio's mother, Kirsty Smedley, aged 24, is charged with allowing or causing the death of a child.
The prosecution say Rio, who died with 91 separate injuries on his body, was murdered by Rigby following a course of "ill-treatment and violent conduct".
On Wednesday the court heard from Rigby's grandmother, Doreen Rigby. Her grandson had taken Rio to her house on the bus the day before he died of a ruptured liver, the court heard.
On seeing her grandson in the dock she broke down in tears before taking the oath, then in a shaky voice said: "I'm sorry."
Rigby wept and held his head in hands before he was handed tissues by a security guard. Smedley also cried as she watched Mrs Rigby give her evidence.
The grandmother confirmed to Simon Phillips QC, for the prosecution, that Rigby had brought Rio to her house in Tyldesley on the afternoon of April 21. She said: "He was a bit quiet for a little boy."
Rigby, of no fixed address, claims that one of his grandmother's dogs jumped up at Rio, knocking him off the chair, causing him to bang his head. Mrs Rigby said her dogs were "well behaved" and that she did not notice anything unusual.
Rigby denies murdering the toddler and claims Rio fell down the stairs of Smedley's Bolton home while in his care. The jury was sent home for the day and the trial will resume on Thursday morning.
The case continues