Nottingham

Toddler Ayeeshia Jane Smith 'had overheating fit' on day of death

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

A 21-month-old girl who died after sustaining "car crash-like injuries" had suffered an "overheating fit" on the day of her death, a court was told.

Ayeeshia Jane Smith died of a tear to her heart in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, in May 2014.

Post-mortem tests showed Ayeeshia had bruises on her head, neck and buttocks.

Her mother Kathryn Smith and her partner Matthew Rigby, from Nottingham, deny murder, causing her death and child cruelty.

'Blue lips'

Det Sgt James Brady, from Staffordshire Police, told Birmingham Crown Court that Miss Smith had told him Ayeeshia had suffered three "overheating fits" since 2014.

She also told him the child suffered from alopecia, the court heard.

On the day of Ayeeshia's death Mr Brady said Miss Smith had left the child on the potty and went into the kitchen.

"Mum went into the kitchen to get some juice and returned back and found the child with blue lips and fitting," he said.

Image caption Kathryn Smith and Matthew Rigby are on trial at Birmingham Crown Court charged with murder, causing her death and child cruelty

Christopher Hotten QC, prosecuting, asked if Miss Smith had presented the fits as being similar to those the child had suffered previously.

Mr Brady said: "Yes, it was described as the same as before, implying it was the same as the previous fits."

A pathologist told the jury "out of 100 children [of the same age and build], 98 would be heavier" than "thin" Ayeeshia.

On examination, Ayeeshia was found to have a bleed on the brain in the months before her death, linked to an incident in which Ayeeshia was hospitalised after collapsing in February 2014.

Further injuries were also discovered, including a large bruise to her back and buttocks and bruising to her left eyelid and left leg.

The trial continues.

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