Mother Who Violently Killed Daughter Is Getting A Real Taste Of Prison Life

After becoming parents, both a mother and father have the tremendous responsibility of caring for and nurturing their children in a safe, loving home. However, a case of parental abuse in 2014 in Staffordshire, England, has angered and shocked communities around the world. In 2014, 23-year-old Kathryn Smith was implicated in the horrific murder of her 21-month-year-old daughter, Ayeeshia Jane Smith. The devastating murder took place in Ayeeshia’s bedroom in the family home in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire when Ms. Smith became angry at her daughter for an unknown reason and delivered “a vicious beating in her own bedroom, surrounded by her toys and playthings”. Medical reports have indicated that Ms. Smith and her boyfriend, 22-year-old Matthew Rigby, were also involved in a string of other beatings and abusive incidents towards Ayeeshia in the months preceding Ms. Smith’s ‘savage outburst’. Recently released statements by medical professionals reported that Ayeeshia had suffered a bleed on the brain and several other serious injuries in the months before the fatal beating. Ms. Smith, a regular user of cannabis, often smoked around her children, did not keep the house hygienic and allegedly offered to sell her infant daughter ‘for drug money’.

On 11 April, 2016, Ms. Smith and her boyfriend received their sentences in the Birmingham Crown Court. The presiding Judge, Geraldine Andrews, informed Ms. Smith she would be imprisoned for at least 24 years while her boyfriend, Mr. Rigby, was jailed for three and a half years. However, in the same year, Ms. Smith’s lawyer, John Butterfield, attempted to appeal the case on the grounds that Judge Andrews’ interruption during Mr. Butterfield’s closing remarks swayed the jury’s opinion unfairly, saying “To trespass on the closing remarks at all…was dramatic and it cannot be said that the conviction is safe, I'm afraid, because of these matters”. The conviction was due to be re-evaluated on 14 March, 2017 but has since been postponed after Ms. Smith’s lawyers argued that the defense was evaluating new evidence.

The repulsive actions of Ms. Smith and her boyfriend resulted in the death of young Ayeeshia. The horrific incident and conviction have not only provoked legal dispute; the social service system has also come under the spotlight after it was revealed that social workers had ample opportunity and evidence to remove Ayeeshia from Ms. Smith’s abusive parenting before her tragic death.

Source: BBC
Photo: America Now

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