Northern Ireland news

Parents charged over injuries to four week-old baby

The couple from Mosside, Co Antrim, face four child cruelty charges relating to the four-week-old and another of the couple's children

THE parents of a four-week-old baby from Co Antrim have been charged with child cruelty offences.

Amanda Fulton (31) and her husband Christopher Fulton (30) from Rockfield Gardens, Mosside, are charged over alleged offences on November 7.

A court heard the baby suffered a fractured skull, brain injuries and broken ribs and is thought to have long-term brain injuries as well as being blind.

The couple face the same four charges.

They are accused of grievous bodily harm with intent, two counts of child cruelty involving two different children and causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm.

The couple appeared at Coleraine Magistrates' Court on Monday to face the charges but a press ban prevented proceedings from being reported. The ban was lifted at the court on Friday by a district judge.

A police officer told the court the baby was taken to a GP on November 7 before being rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

After stabilising, doctors discovered the baby’s liver was lactated and there were multiple rib fractures.

A police officer said the fact some of the infant's rib fractures were healing led the medical expert to believe this was "not one isolated incident".

On further investigation, another of the couple's children, an older child, was found to have an abrasion below her eye and bruising to the back of her head.

The officer told the court the couple could not explain the injuries to their children.

The court heard a death threat, believed to be from a loyalist paramilitary group, has been issued against the couple and that tensions are running high in the estate where they are from.

The details of the case were outlined during unsuccessful bail applications for both accused.

A defence lawyer queried if ambulance staff had been interviewed to ascertain if any injuries may have caused during transfer of the critically baby to hospital.

He also highlighted the baby was only recently born and enquired if there was an indication injures was caused during labour.

But the court was told this has been ruled out by the examining doctor, along with the fact delivery was by caesarean section.

Bail was refused for both and the couple were remanded in custody to appear again by video-link next month.

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