Man pleads not guilty to toddler murder in Derry - Londonderry

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Ashleigh McDonald

A 24-year old man from the Galliagh area of L'Derry is to stand trial later this year, accused of murdering a three-year old child.

Kayden McGuinness's lifeless body was discovered in the bedroom of his Columbcille Court home in the Bogside area of the city in September 2017.

Liam Whoriskey - who at the time of Kayden's death was in a relationship with the child's mother - appeared in court today, where he denied murdering the youngster.

From Glenabbey Gardens, Whoriskey spoke to confirm his name. And when the charge of mudering Kayden on a date between September 16 and 17, 2017 was put to him, he replied "not guilty."

Whoriskey appeared in the dock of Londonderry Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, as Kayden's family sat behind him in the public gallery. As the charges linked to Kayden's death were put to Whoriskey, several member of Kayden's family wept with some leaving the court.

Whoriskey was also charged with causing or allowing the death of a child by an unlawful act, as well as two counts of child cruelty.  The court that regarding the latter offences, Whoriskey is accused of wilfully assaulting Kayden in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health on August 15, 2017, and again on date between September 6 and 16, 2017.

As well as denying murder, Whoriskey replied 'not guilty' to the further three offences.

Although no details regarding Kayden's death were disclosed today, a bail hearing held last summer heard it's the Crown's case that the youngster died from a 'blunt force attack' to his head.

After Whoriskey entered 'not guilty' pleas to all four charges, Mr Justice Colton was told by a Crown prosecutor: "It is anticipated the case will return to the north of the Province, either Londonderry or Coleraine."

When the Judge was informed that the trial is expected to last "no more than three weeks", he set the date for the hearing as May 13.

Whoriskey was then remanded back into custody and was led from the dock in handcuffs by prison staff.

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