Kayden McGuinness: Accused faces amended manslaughter charge

Kayden McGuinness
Image caption Kayden McGuinness was found dead at a flat in Colmcille Court in Londonderry on 17 September 2017

A man accused of killing a three-year-old boy is to now face an amended charge of manslaughter.

Liam Whoriskey, 25, of Glenabbey Gardens, Londonderry, had been on trial accused of the murder of Kayden McGuinness in 2017.

The toddler was found dead in his Colmcille Court home on 17 September.

On Friday, jurors at Londonderry Crown Court were told the indictment in the case has been amended from murder to manslaughter.

The defendant, who denies the amended charge, told the court he "certainly didn't kill Kayden McGuinness."

Under questioning from a defence barrister, the accused agreed that he had been interviewed on numerous occasions following the child's death.

Asked by Ciaran Mallon QC why he had given no comment answers to some of the police questions, he said it was because he had already answered similar ones.

The accused added: "I never assaulted Kayden McGuinness and I certainly didn't kill Kayden McGuinness."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Liam Whoriskey, pictured at a previous court appearance, denies killing the toddler

Under cross-examination by a prosecution barrister, the defendant was asked if there were bruises on the child when he went to bed on the night of 16 September.

The accused answered no and said he did not know who caused the bruises.

Peter Enright QC then asked: "Where in heaven's name did these bruises come from?"

The defendant replied: "I can only account for what I did."

When challenged to "give a logical explanation" for the bruises, the accused said: "I can only say that when he went to bed, there were no bruises."

In reference to a witness who had testified as to the accused's attitude towards the child in a shop earlier in the day, Mr Enright said the witness had said it was "vile and disgusting behaviour".

The accused replied: "I fully disagree with that, I never spoke to a child in the way he described."

Asked how he dealt with Kayden when he threw a tantrum, the defendant replied that he "spoke to him".

He was further asked had he checked on the child after he had gone to bed.

The accused said he had been instructed by the child's mother, Erin McLaughlin, 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.

The trial continues.

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