Bail denied in case of newborn rape accused

November 12, 2018

An application for bail has been refused in the case of a 25-year-old man accused of the rape of a newborn baby.

The accused, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, appeared at Newry Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning via videolink from Maghaberry Prison, where he is being held in custody as a Special Person at Risk due to concerns for his safety.

He was arrested on 2nd October following a reported incident in the Annalong area on 29 September.  The accused denies charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and sexual assault of a 12-day-old infant, but has accepted he was in sole custody of the child on the night in question when the injuries are said to have occurred. 

The details of the case were withheld from open court on Wednesday, with the Prosecution submitting a document outlining the child’s injuries, which was accepted by the judge.

Objecting to the bail application, A PSNI detective constable cited the accused’s unsuitable address outside of the jurisdiction in the Republic of Ireland, which is the home of the defendant’s father, an alcoholic who would be unable to “keep tabs” on his son.

The Prosecution also opposed the bail application on all grounds, warning that if the defendant absconded, an EU arrest warrant would be required.

A defence lawyer argued that the accused was supported by his family who were prepared to enter a cash surety of £10,000. He added that the accused would be residing close enough to the border to sign in at Newry PSNI station if bail was granted and added that his client is “entitled to the presumption of innocence”.

District Judge Eamonn King refused the application however, remanding the defendant back into custody at Maghaberry Prison until a further hearing on 5th December.