Man who beat partner’s two-year-old son to death in fit of rage jailed for 17 years

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Merseyside Police has today, Thursday, 2 November, welcomed the conviction of a 28 year-old man for the murder of a two year-old boy in Wirral earlier this year.

Teddy Tilston was found lifeless in the family home in Woodville Road, Birkenhead, on March 1 this year. He was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital by paramedics but was pronounced dead a short time later. At the time of his death his twin sister Cassidy was also being treated in hospital for a head injury consistent with an assault.

Craig Smith was found guilty of the murder of Teddy and the assault of Cassidy at Liverpool Crown Court.

The children’s mother, Ashleigh Willett, 25, who was charged with two counts of child neglect towards Teddy and Cassidy, was also found guilty.

Smith is due to be sentenced later today, and Willett will be sentenced at a later date.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Denn, said: “The death of two year-old Teddy Tilston was a senseless tragedy.

“Craig Smith, as the partner of Teddy’s mum, was the man given the responsibility of looking after Teddy and his twin sister Cassidy which makes this whole situation even more shocking.

“Craig Smith was not previously known to police for incidents of violence but Teddy and Cassidy never stood a chance against his acts of aggression resulting in the tragic death of Teddy.

“The past seven months have been incredibly distressing for those who were close to the children, for the officers who carried out the investigation and the emergency services and hospital staff.

“What has made this whole situation worse is that Smith continued to plead his innocence throughout, forcing all those involved to give evidence at a lengthy trial.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the professionalism and dignity of the police officers, emergency services and staff at Arrowe Park Hospital who dealt with this case.

“No sentence, however long, will bring Teddy back but Smith will spend a considerable amount of time behind bars and I hope this will bring some consolation to those who will grieve the loss of Teddy for the rest of their lives.”