Carryduff baby did suffer 'head injury'

A post-mortem examination on the body of a baby girl found on the outskirts of Belfast earlier this week has established she suffered a head injury, police said tonight.

A post-mortem examination on the body of a baby girl found on the outskirts of Belfast earlier this week has established she suffered a head injury, police said tonight.

They confirmed that the newborn, whose body was discovered by children playing near a leisure centre in Carryduff in an area known locally as Duck Walk, also had a number of other injuries.

The baby was found wrapped in a plastic bag on a laneway behind the leisure centre on Tuesday afternoon.

Detective Inspector Mike McErlean, who is heading the investigation, tonight appealed for the mother of the child to come forward, insisting she would be given counselling and support.

Trained officers, the police inspector said, would be available to help her and she would be treated fairly and compassionately. ''This woman needs help, so if you know who she is, please let us know.''

He said DNA evidence would form an important part of the investigation but he moved to reassure people that no mass screening was being planned for the immediate future.

Amid concerns from Women's Coalition Assembly member Monica McWilliams that the threat of DNA testing might make it more difficult for police to find the mother, Det Insp McErlean said police had been impressed by the level of support for the screening.

Their house-to-house inquiries had resulted in a majority of women expressing a willingness to participate, he said.

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