England

Ayeeshia Jane Smith murder accused mum admits lying

Kathryn Smith and Matthew Rigby
Image caption Kathryn Smith gave her co-accused a pendant containing her daughter's ashes on the eve of their trial for murder

A woman accused of fatally stamping on her daughter lied over whether she was present when the child was hurt six weeks earlier, a court heard.

Kathryn Smith also gave Matthew Rigby a pendant containing Ayeeshia's ashes on the eve of their trial, Birmingham Crown Court was told.

Ms Smith and Mr Rigby deny jointly murdering Ayeeshia Jane Smith in 2014, in Burton, Staffordshire.

Ayeeshia died when her heart was torn by a forceful stamp, jurors have heard.

The child suffered injuries likened to those found in someone who might have fallen off a building.

'Out shopping'

Giving evidence for a second day, Ms Smith was asked to recall the incident six weeks before her daughter's death when she accidentally fell in the bath and hurt her lip.

The 23-year-old, from Sandfield Road in Nottingham, told police she and her co-accused were both in the bathroom, but she retracted that statement in court saying she was actually out shopping at the time buying fence paint.

She said she lied to police because she "didn't want anyone to think it was weird the non-biological father was bathing my child".

Ayeeshia Jane was taken to hospital, but she did not require treatment.

But under cross examination Mark Haywood QC for Mr Rigby, suggested that changing her statement was part of a series of lies by Ms Smith in the weeks before her daughter's death.

Image caption Ayeeshia Jane Smith was 21 months old when she died in May 2014

Ms Smith told the court on Monday her co-accused was the last person to see Ayeeshia Jane, known as AJ.

Earlier, Mr Haywood asked why she would give her co-accused a pendant, identical to one she was wearing and containing a grain of AJ's ashes, if she believed he had harmed or killed her daughter.

Ms Smith said she also accepted the pair had still been in a relationship at the start of the trial.

But she said she did not know who had murdered her daughter in the pair's two-bedroom flat, but said she had not hurt her.

'Got confused'

"I don't know anything, I thought she had a seizure," she said.

She also said she believed AJ could have got her injuries from CPR carried out by her stepfather.

She denied delaying calling an ambulance while she and Mr Rigby, from Nottingham, "decided what to do", as prosecutor Christopher Hotten QC put it.

When asked about stating it was "all my fault", at the hospital, and had wanted to dial 999 sooner "but Mr Rigby told you not to", Ms Smith said: "That bit got confused, I didn't mean that how it sounded."

In addition to the murder charge, the pair also deny causing or allowing the death of a child and cruelty.

The trial continues.

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