Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland man accused of raping two-week old baby refused bail

Newry Magistrates’ Court
Newry Magistrates’ Court

Bail has been refused at Newry magistrates court for an alleged baby rapist with the “grotesque” details of the case withheld from open court.

A 25-year-old male defendant, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the two week baby, was arrested on October 2, following a reported incident in Annalong on September 29.

The male is charged with grievous bodily harm with intent and sexual assault of a 12-day-old baby by penetration.

The accused denies causing the injuries, but has accepted that he had sole custody of the child on the night in question from 10.30pm to 8.30am, when the injuries are said to have occurred.

The prosecution handed in a document on the child’s injuries into the court, which was accepted by the judge.

A PSNI detective constable objected to the bail application due to an unsuitable address outside the jurisdiction in the Republic of Ireland.

The detective also outlined that the address was that of the father of the accused who was an alcoholic and would not be able to “keep tabs” on the defendant.

Furthermore the court heard that the accused’s sister and a one year old child would “frequent” the family home.

Prosecution opposed the bail application on the grounds that if the defendant absconded an EU arrest warrant would be required.

The magistrates also heard that the serious nature of the offences could lead to a “valid” risk of public disorder “crystallising” if the accused was released.

The defence argued the client’s “respected business” family was “standing by him” and was prepared to enter a cash surety of £10k.

The barrister cross examined the detective constable and stated the accused had no relevant record for the current charges, which was confirmed.

It was said that the accused would be close enough to the border to enter Newry each day to sign at a PSNI station if allowed to be bailed to the southern address.

“This case will take some time to get to a full hearing,” said the defence.

“A similar case, where the child died, took up to three years to be heard.

“There will be a huge amount of medical evidence from both sides in this case, that will take a matter of time.

“The seriousness of the crime cannot prevent bail. He is entitled to the presumption of innocence,” added the barrister.

District judge Eamonn King refused the application stating that he could not be satisfied that any conditions could be imposed to allow for bail.

The case was adjourned to December 5, with the accused remanded back into custody at Maghaberry prison.

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