Man guilty of killing girlfriend's baby

Tue, May 15, 2012, 01:00

A Co Wicklow man has been found guilty of the manslaughter of his ex-fiancée’s baby seven years ago.

Philip Doyle (34) of Tinakilly, Aughrim, had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering 3½-month-old Ross Murphy at Creagh Demesne, Gorey, Co Wexford on April 5th, 2005.

The charge of murder was reduced to manslaughter following a ruling by Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy last week.

The jury of six men and five women returned a unanimous guilty verdict this morning after retiring last night following several hours of deliberations.

Mr Doyle had been minding the baby at the home he shared with the child’s mother, Leona Murphy, while she went out to get a DVD.

The baby had returned from Wexford General Hospital earlier that day after being admitted on March 31st, 2005, after he was found “lifeless” and getting sick on the bed, the court heard.

He was kept in for observation and released on the morning of April 3rd, but was returned to the hospital that evening. He was taken to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin in the early hours of the next morning, but died the next day, on April 5th.

The prosecution alleged that bruising over the child’s body was caused by Mr Doyle, but the defence denied this.

In his closing speech, Mr O’Connell told the jury the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had caused Ross Murphy’s death.