Toddler injured in alleged murder attempt making ‘fantastic progress’

November 10, 2014

The Bessbrook toddler who was critically injured in an alleged attempted murder bid last month is making excellent progress in her recovery, it has been reported.

The two-year-old girl sustained a fractured skull when she was attacked in her home on 19th October.

On Friday, local police revealed they had been informed by the child’s family that she has been moved out of intensive care and is continuing her recovery in a normal ward.  Medication has also been reduced and she was making “fantastic progress”, officers revealed on the PSNI Newry & Mourne Twitter feed.

24-year-old Darren Eamon Fagan from Clonavon Avenue, Portadown is charged with the toddler’s attempted murder.  During a High Court bail hearing on Wednesday, the court was told that police discovered the victim in a “lifeless” condition outside her home having been alerted to “an altercation” at the property.

Prosecutor Robin Steer said the child’s mother told police her daughter had been assaulted by the accused.  Fagan was detained inside the property and when arrested he replied: “I didn’t do nothing.”

Mr Steer told the court: “She described being five stairs from the top of the flight of stairs, hearing a sudden noise described as a thud, and at that point the child stopped crying.  She came into the room about two seconds after hearing the thud and says the applicant was standing crouched over her bed.  The child wasn’t moving and there was a large lump to the side of her head.”

It was claimed that on being accused of having hit the child, Fagan replied: “It’s not what it looks like.”

Outlining the extent of the girl’s injuries, Mr Steer said her skull had been fractured in several places due to sustaining a severe, traumatic blunt injury involving significant force.

“The child is still unable to see due to her injuries. She is still obviously being closely monitored in relation to that,” the prosecution lawyer added.

Stating that his client denies the charge, his defense barrister told the court: “He finds the suggestion of assaulting a child repugnant and he wishes me to say that. This is a case where he protests his innocence.”

Fagan, whose court appearance was via video-link, rose and left the booth before the hearing had concluded.

Refusing bail, Mr Justice Weir ruled: “It seems to me there’s a well-developed concern that if admitted to bail he wouldn’t comply with conditions.”

Members of the child’s family were in court during the hearing.