THE mother of murdered two-year-old Rio Smedley has been jailed for four years for her part in allowing his death.

Kirsty Smedley, aged 24, formerly of Cheriton Drive, Breightmet, was found guilty at an earlier hearing of allowing the death of a child.

Her ex-partner, Daniel Rigby, aged 23, of Dorset Avenue Tyldesley, was jailed for life in November for Rio's murder after he was found guilty of beating Rio to death following a trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Rigby must serve a minimum of 17 years before he is eligible for parole.

"Infatuated" Smedley put her desire to please Rigby ahead of Rio, who suffered 91 injuries all over his body, the court was told.

Rigby delivered a fatal blow to the youngster's stomach, which split his liver in two.

Smedley knew her son received two nasty injuries to his backside and head the day before in Rigby's sole care, but still left Rio alone with Rigby while she went out to get cash to buy cannabis for her boyfriend.

On Saturday, April 21, Smedley left her two-year-old son Rio in Rigby's care at her home in Breightmet.

Rigby had moved back into the house the day before, when he and Smedley had got back together after being separated for several weeks.

Rigby took Rio to visit some of his relatives, but at about 6.30pm, he called Smedley to say Rio had fallen off an armchair and banged his head, causing a red mark.

Later that evening he phoned Smedley again to tell her that while playing with a young child at the house of another relative, Rio had been hit with a toy sword.

Rigby then returned home a short time later with Rio.

The next day, Rio was again left in Rigby's care at their home in Breightmet while Smedley went to visit relatives and friends.

At 4.15pm, she made a call to Rigby, who told her that Rio had fallen down the stairs.

During calls and text messages over the next hour Rigby told her that Rio had become floppy and unresponsive.

Smedley arrived back at the home address at about 5.25pm, where she found Rio collapsed.

She rang 999 and, under instruction from the operator, gave her child CPR. Paramedics were scrambled to the address and Rio was rushed to hospital, but he died a short time later.

Post-mortem tests showed that Rio died from severe abdominal injuries, but also showed they were not accidental.

Rio had 91 injuries and bruises all over his body, the majority of which are believed to have been inflicted in the 24 hours before his death.

Rigby claimed the bruising and marks had been caused accidentally while he had been visiting friends and relatives on the Saturday, but the police investigation revealed he was lying.

Det Ch Insp 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.

"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."