Kayden’s mum: I hope his killer ‘rots in jail’

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.

The mother of Kayden McGuinness says she hopes her ex-boyfriend ‘rots in jail’ after he was found unanimously guilty of killing her three-year-old son.

Erin McLaughlin made her comments after Liam Whoriskey, from Glenabbey Gardens in the city, was found guilty of the child’s manslaughter.

Liam Whoriskey.

Liam Whoriskey.

The 25 year-old was also found guilty of one charge of child cruelty.

Speaking outside the court, Erin McLaughlin said it had been “a very, very difficult time’.

She said no one could know how it felt to lose a child in such a way.

She added that she was ‘happy’ with the verdict.

Whoriskey will be sentenced following a plea and sentencing hearing on November 29.

The verdict followed an eighteen day long trial and just one hour and twenty minutes of deliberation by the jury.

There was uproar in the court when the jury foreman announced the two guilty verdicts.

Erin McLaughlin, together with members of her family, were sitting in the packed public gallery alongside members of Whoriskey’s family. Police reinforcements were also present in the courtroom when the jurors’ verdicts were announced.

Some people in the gallery shouted “thank you” to the jurors and Whoriskey was also verbally abused as he was taken from the dock to the cells.

Whoriskey shook his head when the jury foreman announced that he’d been found unanimously guilty of killing Kayden between the evening of September 16 and the morning of September 17, 2017, when he was babysitting the child and his baby sister.

The child cruelty conviction related to an incident on August 15, 2017, when Kayden was found to have sustained a bruised nose and two black eyes.

Judge Philip Babington excused the jurors from future jury duty for life. He told them it had been a very emotional case for them to have to hear.

During the eighteen day long trial, the jurors heard evidence from twenty-seven prosecution witnesses and from four defence witnesses. They were told that Whoriskey had the sole overnight custody of Kayden in the family flat at Colmcille Court when the child’s mother went out socialising with family members and friends.

Kayden was found dead by Whoriskey just before 10 a.m. on September 17, fifteen hours after the child had gone to bed. He had fifteen bruises to his scalp and face, none of which were visible to either his mother or to Whoriskey when the child went to bed.

Kayden died as a result of fifteen blunt trauma injuries which caused bleeding and swelling of his brain.