Man appears in court charged with Armagh baby murder

Man appears in court charged with Armagh baby murder

A man has appeared in court in Northern Ireland charged with murdering an 11-month-old baby boy.

Sharyar Ali, 31, was looking after Hunter McGleenon while his mother was with her terminally ill grandmother.

A pathologist’s report said the boy’s fatal head injury was not accidental.

A prosecutor told Newry Magistrates’ Court that Ali, who had been in a relationship with the baby’s mother for a year, was in sole care of the child at a property in Keady in Co Armagh when the death happened on Tuesday.

The businessman, originally from Pakistan but with an address at Westenra Terrace in Monaghan, initially told police Hunter had slept all night, had fallen off a sofa onto a concrete floor and he had given him CPR and a cold shower to try to revive him.

A prosecutor said, according to the accused’s version of events, he went back to sleep and woke at 9.30am when he received a parcel and said he noticed that the child had blue lips.

She added: “At no time did he ring for medical assistance.”

He drove the child to his mother and told the family that the child was not able to breathe, at which point they rushed out but he was dead, the lawyer added.

Detectives have earlier CCTV footage of the accused travelling with the child to Dundalk in a “distressed state”, the prosecutor from the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said.

She said from CCTV footage it appeared that he had entered a casino on the night and the child was left for two hours unattended in the back of a motor vehicle.

The infant’s mother said at 3am she attempted to enter the property where they were staying but it was locked and she could not get in.

Ali later left the address where they were staying and travelled to Monaghan at 5am, his explanation was that he wanted to check that the post had arrived, the prosecutor said.

She added: “Hunter was again left on his own.”

She said the accused changed his version of events several times and had given no account for how the child sustained the head injury.

Ali was dressed in a grey tracksuit as he stood in the dock.

His lawyer said he had moved to Ireland in 2014 and found employment in the Monaghan area, working at a business in his wife’s name for some years.

He said his client had given a “consistent” reason for how the child’s injury happened and offered his condolences to the infant’s family.

He said he had called out to the car several times while he was at the casino to check the baby was still sleeping.

Charges involving illegal entry to the UK and possessing an indecent photograph of a child were dropped.

District judge Eamonn King refused him bail and remanded him in custody to reappear before the same court via video link on December 18.

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