Northern Ireland news

Co Down man (25) accused of raping baby to be questioned about other matters

A 25-year-old man accused of raping a two-week-old baby is to be questioned about other matters

A Co Down man accused of raping a two-week-old baby is to be questioned by police about other matters.

The 25-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, appeared before Newry Magistrates Court yesterday.

He is in custody charged with sexually assaulting the baby on September 29 last year and inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

Previous court hearings have been told that the 12-day-old child, from the Annalong area of Co Down, was found with unexplained injuries including a brain haemorrhage, a number of broken bones, traumatic bruising and bleeding.

The defendant denies sexually assaulting the infant and an unsuccessful bail hearing at the High Court in November heard how he claimed he may have unintentionally hit the child's head on a wall while "tired and frustrated".

In court yesterday a detective constable said police were applying for the defendant to be released into their custody for 24 hours to be questioned "in relation to other separate offences than which he is presently in custody".

A defence solicitor confirmed the application was being consented to.

District Judge Eamon King ordered the accused to be freed into police custody at Banbridge PSNI station for 24 hours.

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