Accused of assaulting 11-months-old nephew

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man accused of assaulting his 11-months-old nephew was said to be ‘laughing and smiling throughout a police interview’, a court has heard.

Aaron O’Kane, who is also charged with assaulting the baby’s father, claimed that his brother ‘only lifted the baby because he was getting the better of him.’

O’Kane, from Carnhill, faces two charges of common assault relating to the alleged incident on April 30.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard allegations that the alleged injured party, O’Kane’s brother, was in bed and his 11-months-old son was sleeping in a cot next to him.

O’Kane returned home drunk and turned the bedroom light on.

When he was asked to switch it off because the baby was sleeping, he allegedly became verbally abusive and tried to grab his brother, who pushed him away.

It was alleged the 26-years-old punched his brother in the face 10 times, before their sister came in and separated them.

The court heard O’Kane swung a punch and fell into the baby’s cot and the sister lifted the baby out and handed it to it’s father as it was ‘distressed.’

It was alleged O’Kane continued to throw punches at his brother and one of them hit the baby in the face.

He also allegedly punched his brother again, causing his head to strike the baby.

The court heard the baby sustained swelling and bruising to his face, right cheek and temple and both complainants were taken to hospital for treatment.

During police interview, the defendant claimed he got into an argument with his brother and they were both assaulting each other.

The court heard he was laughing and smiling throughout police interview.

When asked if he was remorseful, it was alleged O’Kane told police ‘he didn’t even consider the baby because he was drunk’ adding ‘what else do you expect?’

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said police have concerns the defendant will commit further offences against his brother.

The officer told the court that following police interview, O’Kane stated that he was ‘going to go off and kick his brother’s head in’.

He added that there are also concerns the defendant will interfere with witnesses.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said the proposed bail address was in the Simon Community in the Waterside. However, he said it is hoped that a bed would become available for his client at a hostel outside Derry.

He added that O’Kane has a ‘limited record’ for Public Order Offences.

The solicitor accepted that O’Kane was involved in a ‘disgraceful, almost unforgiveable’ incident and is ‘clearly someone who can’t drink because when he drinks he does very stupid things’.

Deputy District Judge Brian Archer adjourned the bail application for an alternative address to be found.

He said O’Kane gave ‘very callous answers’ during police interview and he is concerned about further offences.

The defendant was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink on May 15.