Belfast Telegraph

Derry man (25) who laughed about punching baby in the face denied bail

By George Jackson

A man who admitted punching an 11 month-old baby in the face smiled and laughed as he was questioned by police, a court was told yesterday.

Aaron O'Kane (25), from Carnhill in Londonderry, was refused bail after the city's magistrates' court heard that he struck the infant during a fight with his brother.

A police officer told Deputy District Judge Brian Archer that during questioning the defendant admitted two assaults over the incident on April 30.

The hearing was told that when O'Kane arrived home drunk on the day of the attack, his brother was in a bedroom, where the baby was in a cot.

After the defendant switched on the light, his brother asked him to turn if off because the child was asleep, after which O'Kane punched him 10 times in the face.

The police officer said a witness saw the defendant swinging punches at his brother.

After one missed and the defendant fell into the baby's cot, the brother lifted the child from the cot to comfort it, but as he held it in his arms, the defendant attacked him again.

"The defendant struck him again several times on the face and one of the punches hit the baby on the face," the officer said.

"Another punch landed on the brother's face, cracking his head against his baby's face."

The witness said that officers arrested the defendant at the scene as he attempted to run away from the house.

The baby suffered bruises to its face and was taken to hospital for treatment. The defendant's brother was also treated.

The officer said that when O'Kane was arrested, he told police he had been in argument with his brother.

"When asked why he'd swung at his brother and hit the baby, the defendant smiled and laughed," the officer said.

"When asked if he was remorseful for punching the baby, the defendant said he didn't consider the baby because he was drunk at the time."

The police constable said the defendant then added "so that might be expected".

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Seamus Quigley told the court his client knew he had issues to deal with.

Mr Quigley said a bail address was available for the defendant at the Simon Community in Bond's Hill in the Waterside area of the city.

However, Mr Archer said he would not consider any bail address in the city. The defendant was remanded in custody until next Monday, when a fresh bail application is expected to be made if an address outside the city becomes available.

BY GEORGE JACKSON

Belfast Telegraph

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