The mother of two-year-old Ali Jayden Doyle, who died after sustaining what was described as a “extensive non-accidental head injury”, has been granted compassionate bail to allow her to present to the Housing Executive as homeless in order to obtain an address for release.
Despite being expressly warned, Jade Dempsey (25) of Sycamore Drive, Dungannon 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, but also with an address at Ardbeg Drive, both in Dungannon who is charged with murdering Ali.
Dempsey is charged with causing her daughter’s death by an unlawful act and both are jointly accused of perverting the course of justice by providing misleading information to police.
It was previously disclosed paramedics were called to the Park Avenue address on August 8, last year, where Ali was found unresponsive and high on the coma scale.
Armstrong claimed Ali’s 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.
The court heard Dempsey was warned on a number of occasions that Armstrong was to have no access – supervised or unsupervised – with the two children.
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.
But the couple had in fact arranged for Dempsey to leave the children with Armstrong while she travelled to Belfast to purchase a pram.
Within a short time of Dempsey leaving them off, Armstrong sent her 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 could not say how many times there had been impact.
The court heard in over 25 years experience, the pathologist had never seen this level of accidental injury in a child or adult.
During police interview Dempsey changed accounts before accepting she knew leaving the children with Armstrong contravened Social Services warnings, claiming to have been afraid to tell the truth, her baby boy would be taken into care, which subsequently occurred within hours of Ali’s death.
Although granted High Court bail, Dempsey has been unable to be released as all attempts to find accommodation failed.
An application for compassionate bail was mounted to allow her to present as homeless with the Housing Executive in order to enter the system and gain a residence.
A detective constable advised police have no objections to the application.
District Judge Michael Ranaghan described the case as very serious and Dempsey’s bail situation as “unenviable”.
He agreed to Dempsey being released from 8.30am on March 30 to 5pm the following day.
The High Court has ruled any address which is approved will not be made public.
Dempsey’s case has been adjourned for mention next month.
In the aftermath of Ali’s death the Health and Social Care Board confirmed a Serious Adverse Incident had been declared and the matter referred to the Safeguarding Board of Northern Ireland to consider undertaking a Case Management Review.