Belfast Telegraph

Kayden McGuinness murder trial told accused acted 'aggressively' towards child hours before death

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 prosecution witness in the trial of a man accused of murdering a three-year-old boy has denied that he gave “corrupt and embellished” evidence to the jury.

The allegation against the witness, Kevin McGlynn, was made by barrister Ciaran Mallon QC, who is defending Liam Whoriskey.

Whoriskey (25) denies murdering Kayden McGuinness in the child’s family home at Colmcille Court in Londonderry between September 16 and 17 2017.

He also denies two counts of causing cruelty to the child and further denies an additional charge of failing to protect the child.

Kayden died after allegedly receiving 15 blunt trauma blows to his scalp, which resulted in a swelling and bleeding of his brain. He was found dead in his bed on the morning of September 17, 2017, after the defendant, who was engaged to the toddler’s mother, had babysat him and his five-month-old sister.

On the third day of the trial yesterday, Mr McGlynn said the morning before Kayden was found dead, the boy, along with the defendant, had come into the Cash Maker shop in Shipquay Street where the witness worked as a sales assistant.

Mr McGlynn said Kayden was agitated and crying and for over 10 minutes and the defendant shouted and swore at the child.

Mr McGlynn said the defendant shouted at the child to “shut up to f*** you wee b******”, “stand up”, “why can’t you stand up”. He said the more Kayden cried the more frustrated and angry the defendant became.

“It was aggressive, no question”, Mr McGlynn told the jurors. He said the defendant then grabbed the boy up by the hood.

“It was sick, it made me nauseous, You would never lift an animal like that, never mind a child”, the witness said.

Charged: Liam Whoriskey
Charged: Liam Whoriskey

Asked by prosecution barrister Peter Irvine QC about Kayden’s behaviour at the time, Mr McGlynn said “he was definitely hurting in some way, he was definitely distressed”.

Asked by defence barrister Mr Mallon why did he not intervene or phone the police, Mr McGlynn said it was not his place to do so.

Mr Mallon countered: “The reason you did not do anything is because what you gave evidence about simply did not happen. The witness replied “it did happen”.

Mr Mallon said that another witness in the case, Brendan Burn, who was also in the shop at the time, told the police he saw nothing to concern him about the defendant’s behaviour towards Kayden.

“The account of you as a witness and the account of this second man are as different as day is from night,” the barrister said to Mr McGlynn. He replied: “Everything I have said happened. I am a father myself and I would not treat my kids that way nor speak to them that way.”

Mr Mallon then accused Mr McGlynn of giving corrupt and embellished evidence, an accusation which the witness denied.

The barrister then put it to Mr McGlynn: “If this child was being treated like that, any right-thinking individual with a sense of decency would have intervened and sought to do something about it because no decent individual would like a child to be treated like this”.

Mr McGlynn replied “It is with regret I did not stand up and say something. I will live with that, that I did not do something.”

Evidence was also given by social worker Johanna Layberry who said she was professionally involved with Kayden’s family.

She said a week after Kayden’s body was found she saw an image on Facebook of Kayden which showed bruising to the child’s nose and eyes.

Ms Layberry said the image had been posted on September 20, three days after the child was found dead. She said she showed the image to another social worker and the PSNI was contacted.

The trial continues.

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