Belfast Telegraph

Kayden McGuinness murder accused was 'restless and tearful' at scene, court hears

Kayden McGuinness was found dead while in the care of Liam Whoriskey
Kayden McGuinness was found dead while in the care of Liam Whoriskey

A police constable who was tasked to the scene of the sudden death of a three-year-old boy in the Bogside area of Derry has told the trial of the man charged with murdering the child that the defendant was "restless and tearful" when she arrived at the scene.

The officer also told the jury at the city's Crown Court that the defendant was sitting in the living room of the dead boy's family flat, where he too then lived, with a five-month-old baby girl on his knee.

The witness was giving evidence on the fourth day of the trial of Liam Whoriskey, 25, from Glenabbey Gardens in Derry

He denies murdering his fiance's three-year-old son Kayden McGuinness in the child's family flat at Colmcille Court between September 16 and September 17, 2017.

The defendant further denies two charges of cruelty to the boy and a charge of failing to protect the child.

The jurors have already been told that Kayden had sustained fifteen non-accidental blunt force trauma injuries to his scalp which caused bleeding to and swelling of his brain resulting in his death.

The officer said that, when she arrived at the scene at 10.13am on September 17, other officers as well as paramedics were already there. Another officer told her that the child's body was in a bed inside the flat.

She went into the bedroom and saw the body of Kayden in his bed with his pyjamas on. She also saw several marks to the side of the child's face.

The witness said she spoke to the defendant who gave her details about Kayden's date of birth and about the child's mother. She said the defendant told her he'd put Kayden to bed at about 7pm the previous evening and when he went into the bedroom at 9.50am the following morning Kayden was dead.

The police witness said the defendant told him that because of a medical condition Kayden had, the child did not feel pain and at times possibly enjoyed pain. Members of Kayden's family started to arrive at the flat, including his mother Erin McLaughlin.

Liam Whoriskey at a previous court hearing
Liam Whoriskey at a previous court hearing

"She screamed about her baby boy and could she get in to see him", the officer said.

Asked by defence barrister Ciaran Mallon QC if the defendant was acting "like someone who didn't have a care in the world", the witness replied "no". She agreed with Mr Mallon that "there was a pressure cooker of emotion outside the flat".

Meanwhile, a paramedic who was tasked to the scene told the jurors that when she went into the child's bedroom the child "was cold, he was obviously deceased."

Mrs Rosemary Bogle said an ECG was carried out which showed that life was extinct. She said she noticed marks and bruises to the child's facial area and said when she and colleagues left the scene "we knew it was suspicious circumstances".

Mrs Bogle said the defendant was attentive to a baby girl and told her he was the partner of the dead boy's mother.

"I was concerned that the mother should have been there. I told him to ring the mother. I asked him to contact her and he said he couldn't because he didn't have a 'phone. I told him to get somebody else to get her here, to bring her here", the paramedic said.

Mrs Bogle said she asked the defendant if he had noticed anything unusual about Kayden when he'd put him to bed the previous evening.

"He said - how the fuck would I know, he was running about like a madman. Just look at the place. That shocked me. The child was laying in the room and there was no family with him," she told the jurors.

"Who goes out and leaves a child without a contact number? That's just alien to me", she added.

A second paramedic said at one stage at the scene he became emotional and had to leave the flat. Roddy Lynch, an emergency medical technician, said his ambulance crew was the second crew to arrive.

He said that when he went into the flat he saw the defendant nursing a baby girl on his knees. He said he and a colleague took the baby from the defendant and examined the child but found nothing wrong with her.

Mr Lynch said he looked into the bathroom and saw the bath half filled with dirty water.

"I became at one stage emotionally upset and at one stage I had to leave outside the door of the flat", he added.

Mr Lynch said the interaction between the defendant and the baby girl on his knees was "normal behaviour, he was nursing the baby on his knees".

Another emergency medical technician, Kevin McArdle, said when that he examined Kayden's body in the bed, rigor mortis had possibly started to set in.

He said he applied a heart monitor which showed a flat line to indicate no heart activity.

Mr McArdle went into the living room, where the defendant was preparing a bottle for the baby girl.

He said the defendant was calm and focused on counting the number of table spoons of milk powder for the baby bottle.

Cross-examined by Mr Mallon, Mr McArdle said the defendant seemed “unaffected by the circumstances” in that he was neither hysterical nor emotional, but he agreed with Mr Mallon that the defendant could have been in a state of shock.

Asked by the defence barrister if he had been “affected by the emotional hysteria of this case”, Mr McArdle replied “no”.

The trial continues.

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