Toddler sustained 13 blows to the head, court told

Liam Whoriskey
Liam Whoriskey

A three-year-old boy died after sustaining 13 blows to the head, a court has heard.

It is alleged toddler Kayden McGuinness received these blows at the same time and one or more of them caused a subdural haemorrhage leading to swelling of the brain and his death.

Pathology reports suggest that the child would have survived for half an hour after the fatal injury was sustained.

The details of the post-mortem report were disclosed as 23-year-old Liam Whoriskey applied for bail.

Whoriskey, of Glenabbey Gardens, is charged with the murder of Kayden McGuinness on September 17, last year.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard allegations that Whoriskey was left alone with the toddler and his six-month-old sibling.

It is alleged their mother had left the house to attend a family gathering and had put the children to bed beforehand.

Whoriskey found Kayden McGuinness dead the following morning, the court heard.

During police interview, the 23-year-old claimed he had heard the child laughing and playing for a time after the mother had left.

He said he watched TV and consumed four Guinness and woke up on the sofa the following day before finding the child dead.

A post mortem was carried out over two days and police received the pathologists report in May this year. It disclosed multiple injuries sustained by the boy.

The court also heard allegations that the child had also sustained other injuries, including two black eyes and a fractured rib in the weeks prior to his death.

Police opposed bail for fear of further offences, concerns that Whoriskey would breach conditions and concerns that his release would lead to public disorder.

The court also heard that the 23-year-old is subject to a threat from paramilitaries.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin said his client was on police bail for a number of months without any issue.

He added that it was well known within the city that the 23-year-old had been questioned by police on suspicion of murder.

District Judge Barney McElholm said the defendant was not a suitable candidate and refused bail.

He said that there is a risk of further offending and ‘anyone capable of doing this is quite frankly capable of doing anything’.

Whoriskey was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink on July 23.

For more see tomorrow’s paper.