A toddler who died in April was allegedly murdered by his mother's boyfriend, a British court heard this week.
According to the BBC, a state prosecutor told the Manchester Crown Court that almost 100 injuries had been found on 2-year-old Rio Smedley's body the day he died.
Attorney Simon Phillips told the jury that the boy's injuries -- many of them allegedly inflicted on the last day of the child’s life -- were likely caused by "heavy blows" from "punches, kicks, knees and stamping" by his mother's 23-year-old boyfriend, Daniel Rigby.
Rigby, however, has denied the accusations and claims that the child "fell down the stairs while in his care," the Manchester Evening News writes.
Phillips told the court that pathologist Naomi Carter had found 91 separate marks of injury, including 40 bruises and cuts to his head and face, as well as 11 bruises and cuts to his abdomen.
Rio was declared dead on April 22 after his mother, 24-year-old Kirsty Smedley, called emergency services and reported that the boy was not moving. She had told emergency workers that he had "fallen down four steps and banged his head" at their home in Bolton, England, BBC writes.
The boy was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital, but later died of a ruptured liver.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the prosecution alleges the child was alone with Rigby when the fatal injury occurred, and that it was "the culmination of a course of ill-treatment and violent conduct" by him that had caused the child's untimely death.
“The damage to the liver was severe and in the opinion of the pathologist... the injury was not caused by any accidental fall down the stairs -- it had been deliberately inflicted,” Phillips told the jury.
He added that Rio's mother needed to be held responsible for allowing the child to be put in a hazardous situation and that it had been "her duty to protect him from harm."
Smedley has pleaded not guilty to allowing or causing the death of a child, Sky News writes.
Back in April, Rio's tragic death shook the town of Bolton.
According to an earlier report by The Huffington Post UK, a steady stream of visitors, some "inconsolable with grief," left flowers and toys outside the boy's home following his death.
One bouquet of flowers said simply, "RIP Little Man" in tribute outside the house.
"They're just a normal family," Natalie York, a neighbor of Smedley's, said in April. "I saw the police and ambulance...and heard the boy's mom screaming and the ambulance guy running out of the house with the boy in his arms."
"I feel sick. I've got a [2-year-old] I just hope it is an accident. It's horrible."
The trial in Manchester continues.