Baby remains in intensive care after alleged rape
PSNI warns public not to share details of man accused of assault on two-week-old infant
A baby allegedly raped in Northern Ireland late last month is understood to be still in intensive care.
A spokesman for the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children would only confirm that there was a “child in our care” when asked about the incident.
A 25-year-old man appeared in Armagh Magistrates Court last week charged with the rape of and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to a two-week-old baby.
The accused made a brief appearance in court, where the charges were read out to him before he was remanded into custody at Maghaberry prison.
The alleged incident occurred on September 29th in Annalong, Co Down.
The accused is due to appear before Newry Magistrates Court on Wednesday, October 10th.
The baby was treated initially by the Southern Trust before being brought to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, on the campus of the Royal Victoria Hospital.
A PSNI spokesperson told The Irish Times last Friday: “Detectives from PSNI Serious Crime Branch investigating an incident in which an infant from the Annalong area sustained a number of serious injuries charged a 25-year-old man with rape and grievous bodily harm with intent.”
The post stated: “There is understandable anger and considerable distress at the emergence of details of a horrific incident involving a two-week-old baby.
“It wasn’t our patch, but I’m posting this in the hope that some take heed.
“In the last few years a murder trial in the UK was dismissed due to comments made on social media. One of the tests for whether a trial goes ahead is whether there is a right to a fair trial.
“If this continues, it will be impossible to select any jury who don’t have prior knowledge . . . or are [not] tainted by opinion of others on social media. If that is the case, a judge could well kick it out. That is how fragile this is, and is why ‘name and shame’ does not exist.
“If you’ve shared the details of the suspect, delete it. If you know any of the main people who have posted the details, point this out to them. It is not their decision to make. It is not their trial to endanger.”