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Baby rape accused admits hitting child’s head off wall

November 19, 2018

A 25 year old man accused of raping and causing brain injuries to a two week old baby has claimed he may have unwittingly hit the infant boy’s head off a wall while carrying him downstairs – admitting that he was “tired and frustrated” whilst looking after the newborn.

The defendant, who cannot be identified, denies the charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and sexual assault of a child at an address in the Annalong area on September 29 this year. 

Prosecutors at the High Court in Belfast on Friday argued that the serious injuries inflicted on the baby, which include broken ribs and thigh bones were so severe that they could not have been accidental.  Crown counsel Samuel Magee told the court that police were alerted to the incident after the baby was brought to Daisy Hill Hospital with a string of unexplained injuries.

The newborn had sustained a brain haemorrhage, broken ribs and thigh bones, traumatic bruising and was bleeding when admitted to the hospital, with medical professionals believing the fractures occurred due to the use of significant force, such as through the tugging or twisting of limbs. 

According to the prosecutor, a consultant paediatrician provided an opinion that the baby had been sexually assaulted.

As the infant’s horrific catalogue of injuries were disclosed, it proved too much for some in the public gallery, with three women leaving the courtroom gasping as the tot’s ordeal was revealed.

Crown prosecutor, Mr Magee said the defendant told police of his attempts to wind the child while in his care, but he offered no explanation for the bruising and categorically denies any sexual assault. 

“The only explanation he proffered was that he was tired and frustrated, and may have hit the baby’s head on the wall as he was going downstairs,” said the barrister.

Although the baby’s condition is said to be improving, Mr Magee underlined that the child’s future prognosis “is significantly unknown.” 

The court also heard that extreme pornographic material and indecent images of children had been discovered by police on a phone linked to the accused.

Refusing bail, Mr Justice McAlinden said it would be “wholly inappropriate” to release the defendant from custody, citing a potential risk to his own safety as well as the risks of further offending and interference with witnesses.

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