Two-year-old Rio Smedley's death could not have been prevented - but officers DID fail in their duty, says police watchdog

Tragic Rio Smedley

Tragic Rio Smedley

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , health reporter

THE tragic death of two-year-old Rio Smedley — murdered by his mother’s boyfriend — could not have been prevented by police officers investigating an allegation of domestic violence before his death, an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation has found.

But a police officer involved in the case DID “fail in his duties in a number of ways” — and should face a misconduct hearing.

The independent investigation looked into Greater Manchester Police’s handling of an allegation of domestic assault made by Kirsty Smedley in March, 2012.

The force made a mandatory referral to the IPCC following the death of Rio Smedley, who was murdered by Daniel Rigby in April, 2012.

He was sentenced to life in prison in November 2012.

Miss Smedley, from Breightmet, was found guilty of allowing the death of a child.

IPCC investigators looked at whether a decision to take no further action against Mr Rigby in relation to the complaint of domestic violence was appropriate and whether the force had followed all national and local guidance.

The investigation found that a direct causal link between the investigation into an alleged assault by Mr Rigby on Miss Smedley and subsequent death of Rio could not be established.

The IPCC did find, however, that an officer from GMP’s prisoner processing unit had failed in his duties in a number of ways and should face a misconduct meeting.

The PC’s failings included not checking to see if CCTV existed of Miss Smedley and Mr Rigby walking near her home soon after the alleged assault and whether they were seen by neighbours or other witnesses.

The PC also failed to visit witnesses in person, quiz Mr Rigby about his criminal history, make enquiries about Rio Smedley or pass on information about Miss Smedley’s injuries.

Following the completion of the investigation GMP raised performance issues for another officer, a Sergeant, who was acting as Inspector at the time, over the way they reviewed the assault allegation before the decision to take no further action against Mr Rigby was taken.

Both officers were subject to management action.

Full details of the investigations and the findings made against the PC and Sergeant can be found in the investigation report published on the IPCC’s website.

IPCC Commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone said: "While it cannot be said that if the officers had chosen to take a different course of action against Daniel Rigby Rio Smedley would still be alive today, there were a number of shortcomings identified during our investigation.

"Reports of domestic violence must be treated seriously and acted upon thoroughly, particularly those that involve children who may themselves be at risk. ”

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:15pm Wed 19 Mar 14

cliff4treasurer says...

So a man assaults his partner in a house where there is also a child and he also has an extensive criminal record,
The police officers do almost nothing within the guidelines and seemingly abdicate any responsibility for the childs later death at the hands of the scumbag.The IPCC can't see any link between the two events?

I can, so perhaps they are in the wrong job?
So a man assaults his partner in a house where there is also a child and he also has an extensive criminal record, The police officers do almost nothing within the guidelines and seemingly abdicate any responsibility for the childs later death at the hands of the scumbag.The IPCC can't see any link between the two events? I can, so perhaps they are in the wrong job? cliff4treasurer
  • Score: 6

11:35pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Bolton Lad 85 says...

Police get it in the neck, but why did his mum not remove herself from the situation. Weak willed women are the problem. Women have proven themselves equal to men yet some still desire this lifestyle. She should be tried for manslaughter. He should never get out of jail. If you are in an abusive relationship with kids get out is not difficult. We need to teach girls the signs and force them to get the skills that stop them being trapped.
Police get it in the neck, but why did his mum not remove herself from the situation. Weak willed women are the problem. Women have proven themselves equal to men yet some still desire this lifestyle. She should be tried for manslaughter. He should never get out of jail. If you are in an abusive relationship with kids get out is not difficult. We need to teach girls the signs and force them to get the skills that stop them being trapped. Bolton Lad 85
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree