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Mother of murdered toddler granted compassionate bail to register as homeless

Park Avenue Dungannon

The mother of murdered two-year-old Ali Jayden Doyle who died after a sustaining what was described as an “extensive non-accidental head injury” has again been granted compassionate bail to register as homeless with the Housing Executive, if the hope of obtaining accommodation for her permanent release.

Jade Dempsey (25) formerly of Sycamore Drive, Dungannon is charged with causing her daughter’s death by an unlawful act and perverting justice by providing misleading information to police.

Her partner Darren John Armstrong (32) of Park Avenue, Dungannon is charged with Ali’s murder.

Despite being expressly warned against bringing Ali-Jayden and her baby brother into contact with Armstrong, she left them in his care on the day of the incident.

Both children were on the At-Risk register as a direct result of Dempsey’s relationship with Armstrong.

It was previously disclosed paramedics were called to Armstrong’s address on August 8, 2021, 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.

Jade Dempsey

Dempsey 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 retraced her steps to look for it.

In fact, the couple had 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 post-mortem 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.

Refused bail after first appearance just over a year ago, Dempsey was permitted to be released by the High Court however obtaining a suitable address proved difficult.

She was previously granted compassionate bail by Dungannon Magistrates Court in March, to allow her to present as homeless to the Housing Executive in order to obtain an address for release.

During that time, accommodation was secured but within days she was back in court where a defence solicitor stated there would be no application for bail as the address previously obtained was longer an address available.

In June, Dempsey was again granted bail to reside at an address approved by police with an additional condition of no contact with any child at any time.

However finding accommodation proved impossible so the defence mounted a further compassionate bail application today (Wednesday).

Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare agreed to release Dempsey for two days to register homeless, during which she must be accompanied at all times by a relative.

If accommodation cannot be found straightway, a hotel has been booked for an overnight stay and there are further conditions of refraining from alcohol and observe a curfew from 10pm to 8am.

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