Death of Derry toddler Kayden: Charge reduced to manslaughter

Liam Whoriskey
Liam Whoriskey

The jury in the trial of 25-year-old Liam Whoriskey has been told that the indictment in the case has been amended from murder to manslaughter.

At the start of today’s proceedings Judge Philip Babington asked that the amended charge be put to Whoriskey.

Kayden McGuinness (3) was found dead at his home in Derry's Bogside in September 2017.

Kayden McGuinness (3) was found dead at his home in Derry's Bogside in September 2017.

He was charged that between September 16 and September 17 2017 he unlawfully killed Kayden McGuinness.

When the amended charge was put to Whoriskey he replied not guilty.

Following this the trial continued with Whoriskey taking the witness box to testify on his own behalf.

Under questioning by Ciaran Mallon QC Whoriskey agreed that he had been interviewed on numerous occasions following the child’s death and had provided details of his movements on the dates in question.

He was asked why he had given no comment answers to some of the questions asked by the police and he said it was because he had already answered similar ones.

Whoriskey added: “I never assaulted Kayden McGuinness and I certainly didn’t kill Kayden McGuinness.”

Under cross examination by Peter Irvine QC for the prosecution Whoriskey was asked were there bruises on the child when he went to bed and he said no.

He was asked if he didn’t cause the bruises who did and answered ‘I don’t know.’

Mr Irvine put it to Whoriskey that he had not seen any bruises when the mother had left the house and he agreed.

Then he was asked: “Where in heaven’s name did these bruises come from?”

Whoriskey replied: “I can only account for what I did.”

The defendant was challenged to ‘give a logical explanation’ for the bruises and replied ‘I can only say that when he went to bed there were no bruises. “

In reference to a witness who had testified as to Whoriskey’s attitude towards the child in a shop earlier in the day Mr Irvine said the witness had said it was’ vile and disgusting behaviour’. Whoriskey replied: “I fully disagree with that I never spoke to a child in the way he described.”

It was suggested to the defendant that after taking the child out on the afternoon prior to his death he had been ‘browned off’ at the behaviour and he accepted he had said to the child’s mother that he was never taking Kayden out again.

Whoriskey was asked how did he deal with Kayden once he threw a tantrum and replied ‘I spoke to him.’

It was put to Whoriskey about his relationship with his former partner who had testified that the defendant had shouted into their child’s face on occasion. He said he would accept what happened in his relationship with her but he denied ever shouting into the child’s face in the way she described.

He was asked had he checked on the child after he had gone to bed and he replied: “Erin always said that once he was asleep he was asleep and I had no occasion to go into Kayden’s room.”

The defendant said when he went into the child’s room because he had not got up at the usual time he did not notice any bruises until he was performing CPR.

Mr Irvine put it to Whoriskey that he was ‘becoming more and more annoyed with his behaviour and you were becoming more and more aggressive.’ The defendant disagreed with that.

It was put to Whoriskey that the child went to bed at 6.30pm on the Saturday with no bruises but ‘was covered in bruises’ the next morning. He replied: “I certainly did not do anything you suggested.”

Mr Irvine concluded: “It was you wasn’t it?’ Whoriskey replied: “I am telling you it wasn’t.”

The trial continues.