Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Man charged with GBH as police probe Twinbrook baby injuries

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A west Belfast man has appeared in court charged with causing grievous bodily harm to his three-month-old daughter.

The child was brought to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital on Wednesday and it is understood the baby remains in a critical condition at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

A detective constable told the court the baby arrived at the RVH "unconscious and not breathing," adding that medical staff alerted police when they were not satisfied with the explanation for her injuries.

Appearing in the dock of Craigavon Magistrates Court in jeans and a grey checked shirt, the 23-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spoke only to confirm his name duiring the 10-minute hearing.

The court heard that during two days of interviews, the defendant was granted compassionate police bail "in the tragic and exceptional circumstances" and in the company of officers and his solicitor, was allowed to visit his sick daughter's bedside for 80 minutes.

Under questioning by police, the 23-year-old claimed he had been looking after his daughter when she "became suddenly ill" so in a "panic," he took steps which he thought were "perfectly reasonable in the circumstances".

District Judge Mervyn Bates granted bail despite police objections, noting that the accused had already been granted compassionate bail to visit his sick daughter's bedside.

The accused is due to appear in court again in Lisburn, Co Antrim on February 17.

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