Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic details of sexual assault and violence some readers may find distressing.
Tia Simone Rigg, 12, resided with her mother, Lynn Ahmed, and grandparents in Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.
Tia attended Albion High School and had many friends. Her family and friends have described her as “a beautiful little angel” who was happy and helpful. She loved football and rooted for Manchester United Football Club (F.C.).
Tia was close to her maternal uncle, John Maden, and often visited him at his Dalmain Close, Cheetham Hill, Manchester residence. He shared her love of football and often talked about the sport and other matters with her.
But Maden had a dark side few people knew about; Tia would be the first to discover it.
On April 3, 2010, Manchester United played a home game against Chelsea F.C. at Old Trafford Stadium at 12:45 p.m. Over 75,000 fans attended, but Manchester ultimately lost to Chelsea.
At 2:17 p.m., Ahmed received a phone call from Maden asking if Tia could babysit his nine-year-old daughter, and Tia agreed. Tia arrived at Maden’s home at 3 p.m., and Tia and her uncle briefly chatted about Manchester United. She had hoped to catch the last part of the game on television while babysitting.
Sadly, she never got the chance.
Maden drugged Tia with Olanzapine, an antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia. He carried her upstairs to a spare bedroom and removed her clothing. Next, he tied her hands behind her back with shoelaces and subjected her to horrific sexual assault and torture. Then, Maden stabbed Tia in the abdomen and strangled her with a guitar wire.
At 3:45 p.m., Maden calmly dialed 999, the United Kingdom’s official emergency phone number, to report Tia’s murder. Here is the transcript of the call.
John Maden: ‘Hi, I would like to report a murder.’
The operator asks where it happened, and Maden gives his address and name, John Nigel Maden.
Operator: ‘Well what’s happened there?’
Maden: ‘My niece has been murdered by me.’
Operator: ‘When has this happened?’
Maden: ‘I have just finished killing her now.’
Operator: ‘Why have you done that?’
Maden: ‘Because I felt like it.’
He gave the operator his address and Tia’s full name. However,
he misreported her age as 11. The call was briefly cut off but reconnected. The operator asked for more details from Maden.
Maden: ‘I am quite sure the officers that come to the house will be able to take all the details you need.’
Operator: ‘How’s it happened?’
Maden: ‘I have used… with a knife and strangulation, and that’s it, bye.’
When police arrived at Maden’s residence two minutes after the call, they noted he was “chillingly calm.”
Lead investigator Detective Superintendent Mary Doyle said officers were “confronted with Tia’s body in the house having suffered significant injuries. She was clearly dead at the time, and there was another person at that address.”
Officers found Tia’s battered and bloody body face-up on the bedroom floor. She was naked except for socks. Around her body lay a broom handle, an adult toy, and two knives, all covered in the young girl’s blood. The autopsy later revealed Tia suffered severe internal injuries, some inflicted while still alive. While her wounds led to significant blood loss, the cause of death was ligature strangulation.
Maden admitted to the gruesome killing and told officers he heard voices — one good and one bad. Police arrested and charged him with Tia’s rape and murder.
While searching the premises, Manchester police found a mass collection of extreme child abuse and violent pornography images on Maden’s cellphone and laptop. He had organized them on his phone into folders titled “Brutal Rape,” “Snuff,” and “Snuff Stories.”
Maden had amassed his sick collection for about a year, police said.
He would have faced a jury at Manchester Court but pleaded guilty instead. In October 2010, the judge sentenced him to life in prison, recommending that he was never released.
A few days after her daughter’s killing, a distraught Ahmed, 34, left a note saying she wanted to be with her daughter. She took Tia’s belongings and departed home. Luckily, the police found her safe at a friend’s house the next day. Ahmed had attempted suicide numerous times in the past.
The Department for Education oversees child protection services in the United Kingdom.
When social service agencies are involved in child abuse or neglect, officials must create child protection objectives detailing actions by parties involved, including family members, to keep the child safe.
According to NSPCC Learning, officials periodically review the plans at “child protection conferences until the child is no longer considered at risk of significant harm or until they are placed into foster care.”
The Salford Safeguarding Children Board published a case review in May 2011 that found child protection services had failed Tia. There were seven missed opportunities to help the young girl, the board determined.
Ahmed had been addicted to crack cocaine and heroin and was previously charged with assault and robbery. During her pregnancy with Tia, officials had placed the unborn child on the Child Protection Register in 1997 over concerns regarding Ahmed’s excessive drug use.
Tia was removed from the register in 1999 because Ahmed’s behavior had improved. Four years later, Tia and her siblings were placed with other relatives and returned to the family home in 2008.
During 2008 and 2009, Ahmed had left her children home alone numerous times and exhibited rampant drug use, the report stated. Tia was also showing problematic behavior at school.
Unfortunately, the report stated the information was not “adequately analyzed and shared” between social services agencies.
The report further noted:
“In particular, the decision to allow (Tia) and her siblings to return to their mother’s care in 2008 and 2009 was not based on any firm evidence that there had been a substantial change… Similarly, the decision to discontinue the Child Protection plans in May 2009 was based on the false premise that Rigg’s [Ahmed”] parenting had improved.”Terri, Judd — The Independent
Ultimately the review concluded that Tia’s death “could not have been predicted or prevented because there had been no prior evidence that her uncle posed a threat,” Judd reported.
In 2013, Tia’s older brother Marcel Maden was sent to prison for seven years and eight months after police found a stash of guns and ammunition at Ahmed’s Higher Broughton home on October 19, 2012.