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Mother of murdered Ali Jayden Doyle returned to prison days after obtaining bail

Jade Dempsey Dungannon

The mother of two-year-old Ali Jayden Doyle who died after sustaining what was described as an “extensive non-accidental head injury” has been returned to prison days after being granted compassionate bail to allow her to present to the Housing Executive as homeless in order to obtain an address for release.

However, Jade Dempsey, formerly of Sycamore Drive, Dungannon breached the terms of bail and has been sent back to prison.

At Omagh Magistrates’ Court today (Tuesday) Dempsey appeared by video-link from police custody after breaching her terms of release.

A defence solicitor confirmed the breaches were accepted, but there would be no application for bail as there is no longer an address available.

He said: “My client knows she is going back to prison today.”

The circumstances surrounding the breaches which led to Dempsey’s arrest were not disclosed.

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter remanded her in custody to appear by video-link at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court later this month.

Despite being expressly warned, the 25-year-old left Ali and her baby brother in the care of her partner, who is charged with the child’s murder.

Both children were on the At-Risk register as a direct result of Dempsey’s relationship with Darren John Armstrong (32) of Park Avenue, Dungannon who is charged with Ali’s murder.

Dempsey is charged with causing her daughter’s death by an unlawful act and both are jointly accused of perverting justice by providing misleading information to police.

It was previously disclosed paramedics were called to Armstrong’s address on 8 August last year where Ali was found unresponsive.

Armstrong claimed her baby brother hit her with a toy, causing her to fall and strike her head on the fireplace, but paramedics became concerned and contacted police and Social Services.

Dempsey was warned on numerous occasions that Armstrong was to have no access – supervised or unsupervised – with the two children.

She initially claimed she went to Armstrong’s house to return a bank card, where she realised one of the children had lost its dummy and left them with him while she looked for it.

The couple had in fact arranged for Dempsey to leave the children with him while she travelled to Belfast to purchase a pram.

Shortly after leaving them off, Armstrong sent Dempsey a text saying the baby boy, “Is seriously melting my head. He won’t stop crying.”

A postmortem revealed Ali’s head trauma was most likely non-accidental with injuries so extensive the pathologist couldn’t say how many times there was impact. In over 25 years experience, the pathologist had never seen this level of accidental injury in a child or adult.

During interview, Dempsey changed accounts before accepting she left the children with Armstrong, contravening Social Services warnings. She claimed she was afraid to tell the truth as her baby boy would be taken into care, which subsequently occurred within hours of Ali’s death.

Although granted High Court bail, Dempsey was unable to be released as all attempts to find accommodation failed

Compassionate bail was granted allowing her to present as homeless with the Housing Executive and gain a residence.

A detective constable did not object and Dempsey was permitted release from 8.30am on 30 March to 5pm the following day.

During that time accommodation was secured and she was fully on bail.

In the aftermath of Ali’s death the Health and Social Care Board confirmed a Serious Adverse Incident had been declared and the matter had referred to the Safeguarding Board of Northern Ireland to consider undertaking a Case Management Review.

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