Woman is charged with abusing girl, three, after confessing all to killer brother

A woman who revealed all about assaulting a three-year-old girl to her killer brother has been charged.

Staci Rigby, 24, confessed what she had done in a phonecall to her brother Daniel, 28, who’s serving time at Nottingham Prison for murdering his step-son.

She admitted grabbing the youngster by the face and pushing her down and making her bleed, having initially said the child had simply bitten her lip.

Her confession was then passed on to the police who arrested her.

She pleaded guilty at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court to assaulting the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, between March and May this year.

Handing her a 12-month community order, Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “I acknowledge the problems you have and the difficulties you have but a young and vulnerable child has been injured and will live with that for the rest of her life.”

Rigby told officers she had grabbed the child by the face and pushed her down but said it was “not a hard push”.

Simon Stevens, defending, said “It was something she regretted immediately and she knows her offence is aggravated because it is an assault on a young child.”

Tragic: Little Rio was killed by Daniel Rigby (SWNS)

In November 2012, her then 23-year-old brother was told he would serve at least 17 years for the murder of two-year-old Rio Smedley, his girlfriend’s son.

Manchester Crown Court heard Rio suffered 91 injuries, likely to have been caused by “punches, kicks, knees and stamping”.

Rio’s mother Kirsty Smedley dialled 999 on April 22, 2012, to report her son was not moving. She told the emergency services he had “fallen down four steps and banged his head” at their home in Bolton, Lancs. The boy was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital but later died of a ruptured liver.

During the trial, a medical expert testified the injuries could not have been caused by a fall and the prosecution accused Rigby of “striking Rio with such force as to split his liver in two” during a “sustained and violent attack”.

Sentencing him at the time, Mr Justice David MacKay told Daniel Rigby: “You abused (Rio’s) trust by punishing him physically in quite a revolting way.

"It’s a chilling, terrible picture. He suffered considerably before he died, I am satisfied. He was a vulnerable boy.”