Baby assault accused released

Published Thursday, 13 February 2014
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A man whose three-month-old baby daughter died after he allegedly shook her has had his bail conditions relaxed and been allowed to move back to west Belfast.

Baby assault accused released
O’Neill appeared at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court. (© UTV)

A prosecution lawyer told Lisburn Magistrates' Court the police were "happy" for 23-year-old Christopher O'Neill to move from his bail address in east Belfast to the Whiterock Road in the west of the city.

A bail condition that barred O'Neill from contacting his partner Tammie-Louise Walsh was also removed by consent.

O'Neill is charged with causing grievous bodily harm to his baby daughter Cárágh Walsh on 5 February this year and when he first appeared in court last Friday, a police officer said the baby had suffered a "significant traumatic brain injury" and was bleeding onto her brain.

He outlined how baby Cárágh was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital on Wednesday of last week "unconscious and not breathing," adding that a CT scan revealed subarachnoid and subdural bleeding onto her brain.

The officer said police were alerted by medical staff whenever they were not happy with the explanation O'Neill provided for his daughter's injuries and that when challenged during police interviews, he admitted "shaking" her.

His solicitor claimed O'Neill had been looking after his daughter at the Glasvey Park flat he shared with Ms Walsh when Cárágh "became suddenly ill" so in a "panic," he took steps which he thought were "perfectly reasonable in the circumstances".

The couple had been together for 18 months and had only moved into the apartment five days before the incident, the court heard.

On Thursday O'Neill, whose family filled the public gallery, was released on continuing bail and told to come back to court on 10 March.

© UTV News
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