Stepfather guilty of causing or allowing death of toddler Ayeeshia Jane Smith


A stepfather has been found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a "happy and smiley" 21-month-old toddler at the family home.

Matthew Rigby, 22, was unanimously convicted by a Birmingham Crown Court jury on Friday in connection with the death of Ayeeshia Jane Smith at a flat where he lived with the girl's mother in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, on May 1 2014.

However he was cleared of murdering the child, who prosecutors said had been stamped to death, and of cruelty to a child under 16.

The child's 23-year-old mother Kathryn Smith has also been found guilty of cruelty to a child.

The jury is continuing to deliberate on charges against Smith of murder and whether she caused or allowed Ayeeshia's death.

Ayeeshia - known as AJ - suffered a fatal collapse at a flat just over three weeks after Derbyshire social services had discussed taking the youngster into care over concerns Smith was a victim of domestic abuse, the court had heard.