Man (26) accused of raping two week old baby sent forward for trial

Judge at Newry Magistrates Court satisfied defendant has case to answer

The court previously heard the PSNI was alerted after the baby was brought to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry with unexplained injuries.

The court previously heard the PSNI was alerted after the baby was brought to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry with unexplained injuries.

 

A man accused of raping and causing brain injuries to a two week old baby has been sent forward for trial.

The 26 year old, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his alleged victim, appeared in handcuffs at Newry Magistrates Court on Wednesday for a preliminary inquiry.

The defendant faces charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and sexual assault of a child by penetration on September 29th, 2018. He now also faces a charge of common assault of a woman on dates from August 1st to September 2nd, 2018. Her identify is also protected.

The defendant has been held in custody on remand since his arrest last year.

The accused spoke to say he understood the charges against him. He did not object to a preliminary enquiry.

The defendant brought forward no evidence or witnesses at this stage.

The court previously heard the PSNI was alerted after the baby was brought to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry with unexplained injuries.

The child had sustained a brain haemorrhage, a number of broken bones, traumatic bruising and was bleeding when admitted.

The accused had previously claimed he may have unintentionally hit the child’s head off a wall while “tired and frustrated”.

The court has heard that the injuries inflicted on the newborn, including broken ribs and thigh bones, were so severe that they could not have been accidental.

Four medical expert reports including those from pathology, radiology, neurological and ophthalmic consultants have been completed including DNA forensic testing of the baby’s nappy.

A consultant paediatrician provided an opinion earlier in the case that the baby had been sexually assaulted.

The accused denies any sexual assault.

The prosecution stated that there was a prima facie case to answer. There were no contrary submissions from defence during the preliminary inquiry.

District judge Eamonn King was satisfied that there was a case to answer and the defendant has been sent forward for trail to Newry Crown Court.

The case was adjourned to December 5th when his trial will be arranged. The accused was remanded back into custody to Maghaberry prison until that date.