Toddler murder trial: witness denies giving ‘embellished evidence’

A prosecution witness in a murder trial at Derry Crown Court today denied that he had given “corrupt and embellished” evidence to the jury.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 1:07 pm
Updated Friday, 27th September 2019, 2:07 pm
Liam Whoriskey pictured at a previous court hearing.

The allegation against the witness, Kevin McGlynn, was made by barrister Ciaran Mallon Q.C., who is defending Liam Whoriskey.

The defendant, aged twenty-five, denies murdering three years old Kayden McGuinness in the child’s family home at Colmcille Court in the Bogside area of the city between September 16 and September 17, 2017. He also denies two counts of causing cruelty to the child and he further denies an additional charge of failing to protect the child.

Kayden died after he received fifteen blunt trauma blows to his scalp which resulted in a swelling and bleeding of his brain. He was found dead in his bed on the morning of September 17, 2017, after the defendant, who was engaged to the toddler’s mother, had babysat him and his five month old sister.

On the third day of the trial, Kevin McGlynn said that, the morning before Kayden was found dead, the boy along with the defendant, had come into the Cash Maker shop in Shipquay Street where the witness worked as a sales assistant.

Mr. McGlynn said Kayden was agitated and crying and for over ten minutes the defendant shouted and swore at the child. Mr. McGlynn said the defendant shouted at the child, “shut up to fuck, you wee bastard”, “stand up”, “why can’t you stand up”. He said that, the more Kayden cried, the more frustrated and angry the defendant became.

“It was aggressive, no question”, Mr. McGlynn told the jurors. He said the defendant then grabbed the boy up by the hood.

“It was sick, it made me nauseous, You would never lift an animal like that, never mind a child”, the witness said.

Asked by prosecution barrister Peter Irvine Q.C. about Kayden’s behaviour at the time, Mr. McGlynn said “he was definitely hurting in some way, he was definitely distressed”.

Asked by defence barrister Mr. Mallon why he did not intervene or phone police, Mr. McGlynn said it was not his place to do so.

“The reason you did not do anything is because what you gave evidence about simply did not happen”, Mr. Mallon said to the witness who replied, “it did happen”.

Mr. Mallon said that another witness in the case, Brendan Burn, who was also in the shop at the time, told the police he saw nothing to concern him about the defendant’s behaviour towards Kayden.

“The account of you as a witness and the account of this second man are as different as day is from night”, the barrister said to Mr. McGlynn who replied: “Everything I have said happened. I am a father myself and I would not treat my kids that way nor speak to them that way”.

Mr. Mallon then accused Mr. McGlynn of giving corrupt and embellished evidence, an accusation which the witness denied.

The barrister then put it to Mr. McGlynn - “If this child was being treated like that, any right thinking individual with a sense of decency would have intervened and sought to do something about it because no decent individual would like a child to be treated like this”.

Mr. McGlynn replied: “It is with regret I did not stand up and say something. I will live with that -that I did not do something”.

The trial continues.