Jurors in the murder trial of Liam Whoriskey (25), who denies murdering his fiancee's three-year-old son Kayden McGuinness, have been told the defendant only became a suspect in the child's death following preliminary post mortem findings.
The defendant, a waiter from Glenabbey Gardens in Londonderry, denies the killing in the child's family flat at Colmcille Court in the Bogside area of the city between September 16 and September 17, 2017.
The defendant also denies two charges of child cruelty and one charge of failing to protect the child.
Kayden's body was found in his bed by the defendant, who had been babysitting the child and his five-month-old baby sister after their mother, Erin McLaughlin, had stayed out overnight after socialising with family members and friends.
The child had sustained 15 blunt trauma injuries to his scalp which resulted in a swelling and bleeding of his brain, causing his death.
On the 10th day of the murder trial, the 11 jurors, were read out the contents of several interview statements the defendant made to the police after the child's body was found.
The jurors were told that the defendant was first interviewed by the police hours after Kayden's body was found. During three interviews on September 17, 2017, the defendant was questioned as a significant witness and not as a suspect.
However, on September 23, 2017, following the preliminary findings of a post mortem, the defendant was interviewed, in the presence of his solicitor, three times as a suspect. He was again interviewed several times as a suspect on June 11, 2018.
In his first interview as a significant witness, the defendant described Kayden as "a loveable wee wain".
In one of the interviews the defendant said he saw Kayden's mother Erin McLaughlin going into the child's bedroom just before she went out for the night and heard her saying "night night, mummy loves you".
The defendant told the police that he then heard Kayden talking himself to sleep for between 10 and 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, the jurors were also told that the defendant was interviewed under caution, in the presence of his solicitor, nine times on June 11 of last year. During the interviews the defendant said he had never lost his temper with Kayden nor had he ever become frustrated or angry with the child.
"I would never harm Kayden, never", he said in his fifth interview.
In his sixth interview the defendant told the police "I have a lot of time for Kayden" and added later, "obviously, Jesus I love the wain".
Asked in his eighth interview why it had taken him 16 minutes to call the emergency services after he'd discovered Kayden's body, the defendant said he had been applying CPR to Kayden and added "because I had a baby in one room and Kayden in another".
In his ninth interview the defendant was shown a series of photographs of the dead child which showed bruises to Kayden's face.
The defendant said he could not account for the injuries which he said had not been on Kayden when he went to bed the night before his body was found.
"I never hit him either, I never murdered him, I never hit him," he said when shown one of the photographs.
When shown another photograph of the dead child, the defendant said to the police: "I done nothing, I have thought about nothing else for the last nine months."
The trial continues.