A vicious murderer who battered his partner’s three-year-old son so hard it severed his bowel and split his intestines has been jailed for life.
Kyle Campbell, 27, subjected Riley Siswick to the cruel attack when he was left alone with him for 35 minutes.
It came just two days after the boy’s mum Kayleigh Siswick had injured his abdomen, Huddersfield Examiner reports.
Now Campbell has been found guilty of murder while his ex was convicted of causing or allowing the death of a child.
And today the coward was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years at Leeds Crown Court.
Siswick was handed a seven-year sentence.
Riley suffered fatal infections after Campbell’s attack. The thug struck him “either from a fist, or by jumping or stamping on him or by striking him with an object,” the jury of seven men and five women was told.
Sentencing the pair, Mr Justice Turner said: “It should have been obvious to you that Riley was very ill by Friday evening at the latest.
“He would have been in significant pain in the 36 hours before he died.”
Addressing the mum, he added: “I’m satisfied that you deliberately turned a blind eye…you prioritised your relationship with Campbell.”
The child called cannabis user Campbell “dad” even though they did not have a strong bond.
The day after the beating in February 2016, Riley spent the whole day lying on the sofa.
He cried when he found out he would not be going to nursery and vomited several times throughout the day.
A stomach bug had been going around both Riley’s family and children in Riley’s nursery school before his death.
The former couple claimed they thought that was all that was wrong with Riley.
But Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, said the youngster’s acute and deteriorating condition “would have been obvious” to anyone – including the person who did it.
The severed bowel resulted peritonitis and hypovolemic shock.
The pain would have been immediate, would not have gone away and Riley would have suffered until he became unconscious before dying in his bed.
The other initial symptoms would have included nausea with or without vomiting, shivering and an inability to eat.
Mr Smith said there was evidence that Siswick knew Campbell had injured her son before and she would have been aware that he was capable of hurting him again.
Campbell found Riley dead in his bedroom on the morning of Saturday, February 6, 2016 before telling Siswick to “check on him”.
Riley’s whole body was stiff and rigid suggested he had been dead for hours.
Siswick screamed her son’s name when she found his body and claimed she told Campbell to ring an ambulance before calling her mum.
Campbell called the ambulance at 9.18am, telling the operator: “We think he’s dead.”
The prosecutor said the call was made over an hour after adults had been overheard raising their voices in the property.
On the advice of the call handler, Campbell tried to revive the child with CPR, before Siswick’s mother arrived and took over CPR.
The court heard Riley may have been changed into clean pyjamas between the time of his death and the paramedics arriving on the scene or he did not spend the night in his own bed as the couple said.
A crime scene was erected at the house after the emergency services arrived.
Police who attended the house found a strong smell of faeces and urine in Riley’s bedroom. His bedding smelt of urine.
The headteacher of Riley’s nursery school said Siswick did not appear to cry at her son’s funeral.
The then-couple moved out of the house after Riley’s death and Campbell cleaned it out, throwing the boy’s urine-stained mattress away.
The couple got engaged after Riley’s death and did not split until Siswick’s bail conditions banned her from having any contact with Campbell.
Siswick said she believed Campbell would be acquitted of murdering Riley. She told the jury during the trial: “It’s not been proven that someone’s done it yet.”
Siswick was assessed to be of borderline intelligence but her mental age was assessed as that of an 11-year-old.
Dr Harry Wood, a consultant clinical and forensic psychologist, said she does not have a learning disability but is less likely to notice at an early stage that help is required.
Dr Wood also said Siswick is vulnerable to ending up in an abusive relationship and easily led but not unusually compliant.
Siswick said Campbell had cheated on her with an ex-girlfriend but insisted he did not subject her to domestic abuse.
Campbell, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, was also found guilty of two counts of causing actual bodily harm in relation to a second child.
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Siswick and Campbell were the people supposed to care for Riley more than anyone else – they should have been his support system and his protectors. Instead, Campbell was the one he should have been protected from and his mother utterly failed him in that.
“No child should have to live with fear and abuse, so we urge anyone who has concerns about the welfare and safety of a child to call the NSPCC Helpline for support and advice.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Nick Wallen, who led the investigation at West Yorkshire Police, said: “We welcome the convictions and sentences which have been passed down to both defendants in this case.
“This has been a very long and complicated investigation. Riley, who was just three-years-old suffered a catastrophic injury and details of how this could have been sustained were heard throughout the trial and subject of expert medical evidence. “We are really pleased we have been able to secure justice for Riley.”