Murder of Tia Rigg
|Born||Tia Simone Rigg
4 January 1998
|Died||3 April 2010
Cheetham Hill, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
|Cause of death||Strangulation|
|Body discovered||Dalmain Close, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, England|
|Resting place||Southern Cemetery, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Greater Manchester, England|
|Known for||Murder victim|
The murder of Tia Rigg (4 January 1998 – 3 April 2010) was committed in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, England, on 3 April 2010. Twelve-year-old Rigg was tortured, raped and murdered by her maternal uncle, John Maden.
On 4 October 2010, 38-year-old Maden, who had pleaded guilty to the crime, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he should never be released, meaning that he will likely remain in prison until he dies.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Keith said: "This is one of those exceptional cases in which the only just punishment requires you to be imprisoned for the rest of your life." Maden is one of only around 40 prisoners who have been told by the appropriate authorities that their life sentences should mean life.
At 2:17pm on 3 April 2010, Maden, who had an "obsessive interest" in pornography relating to paedophilia, rape and torture, telephoned Rigg's mother and asked for Tia to go to his home in Dalmain Close, Cheetham Hill, in order to babysit his ten-year-old daughter. When she arrived at 3:00pm he drugged her with Olanzapine, an antipsychotic tranquilizer that he had been prescribed.
He then inflicted a "horrific catalogue of sexual injuries" on her before stabbing her and strangling her with a ligature made from a guitar string. At 3:45pm Maden telephoned the 999 emergency services number and said: "Hi, I would like to report a murder." He then gave his name and address and when asked by the operator what had happened he replied: "My niece has been murdered by me ... I have just finished killing her now." Asked why he had killed her he answered: "Because I felt like it" and terminated the call.
Police officers from Greater Manchester Police arrived at the address two minutes later. Maden opened the door to the officers, who described him as "chillingly calm", and directed them upstairs. They found Rigg's body face-up on the floor of a spare bedroom, naked except for her socks, with the ligature still fastened around her neck and her hands tied behind her back with shoelaces. Next to the body were two knives, a broom handle and a sex toy, all of which were stained with blood.
Maden was tried at Manchester Crown Court on 4 October 2010. Prosecutor Gordon Cole QC told the court: "In the year or so prior to April this year, the defendant had developed what can properly be described as an obsessive interest in images and literature relating to paedophilia, rape and torture. He had an extensive library of such materials which included literature dealing with methods of killing."
Police had found "hundreds of extreme images of child abuse and violent pornography" on Maden's laptop, plus more material on his mobile phone in folders named "snuff", "snuff stories" and "brutal rape". Detective Chief Inspector David Warren, who led the investigation, revealed that Maden refused to explain his actions and had never shown remorse for the killing.
After pleading guilty to rape and murder, Maden was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he should never be released. Passing sentence, Mr Justice Keith told him: "It is inescapable that Tia Rigg died because you decided to realise your fantasies about torturing and killing a young child. It is difficult to know how long Tia's ordeal lasted. The terror, the unimaginable pain you inflicted on her, the indignities you subjected her to while still alive. It was planned, it was premeditated and her agony must have been prolonged. This is one of those exceptional cases in which the only just punishment requires you to be imprisoned for the rest of your life."
A report issued regarding the case found a catalogue of ‘serious failings’ by social services bosses charged with caring for the girl, and said social workers missed seven chances to help Tia, who had been placed on the ‘at risk’ register before she was even born. The report stated that social workers could have intervened to protect her from the severe behavioural problems suffered by her mother, Lynn Rigg, who had seven children by four different fathers, a history of heroin and crack cocaine addiction and a criminal record for robbery and assault. The report logged that there were seven incidents which should have prompted children’s services to consider taking Tia and her siblings into care.
These incidents included her mother attempting suicide in front of her children, leaving them home alone, and regular violence between family members at her home in Salford. The report said social workers had an ‘over-optimistic and unrealistic perception’ of her ability to care for her children and failed to appreciate the chaos of Tia’s family life.
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- Tozer, James (4 October 2010). "'I've finished killing her now': Uncle, 38, murdered niece, 12, while acting out a fantasy from his collection of violent porn". Daily Mail. London.
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- Pidd, Helen (4 October 2010). "Man jailed for life for rape and murder of his 12-year-old niece". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- Murdered girl's addict mother to sue council for not taking her into care Daily Mail, 14 May 2011.Retrieved 3 April 2013.