A neighbour of a father accused of murdering his baby son has claimed that she heard him screaming at the crying child “as if he had just lost it”.
Rachel Castles, who lived in the flat below Ryan John Leslie’s, said she could hear everything going on inside and had complained to the Housing Executive about it.
She was giving evidence at the Belfast Crown Court trial of the 26-year-old Newtownabbey man, who denies the murder of his 14-week-old son Cameron, claiming he “showed him nothing but love and devotion”.
She told prosecuting QC Ciaran Murphy that the day before baby Cameron was rushed to hospital she had heard the infant continually crying for between half-an-hour to 45 minutes.
Mrs Castles claimed she also heard Leslie, whom she knew as ‘Les', constantly “shouting... screaming” at his son, telling him “Cameron, for f**** sake shut up”.
She said to her it appeared that Leslie was “stressed out ... as if he had just lost it” and that on another occasion he seemed to have screamed out “Ahhhh...”
Mrs Castles said that after the child stopped crying she heard nothing more from the Ballyvesey Green flat and claimed that later that evening she had seen Leslie leaving with his kitbag and thought he was going football training.