A man accused of sexually assaulting his baby son will have his case sent to the Crown Court later this month, a judge ordered today (Wednesday).
With the 26-year-old appearing at Newry Magistrates’ Court via videolink from prison, District Judge Eamon King ordered the alleged pervert to be produced to court on October 30 for a Preliminary Enquiry, the legal process all cases must go through in order to be referred to the higher Crown Court.
The Co. Down man, who cannot be identified to protect his alleged infant victim, is in custody accused of sexually assaulting the two-week-old child and inflicting grievous bodily harm on him with intent on September 29, last year.
Previous court hearings have been told that the baby was found with unexplained injuries including a brain haemorrhage, a number of broken bones, traumatic bruising and bleeding with the police and prosecution receiving expert medical reports from pathology, radiology, neurology and ophthalmic consultants along with DNA testing on a nappy worn by the injured baby.
The defendant denies sexually assaulting the infant and an unsuccessful bail hearing at the High Court in November heard how he claimed he may have unintentionally hit the child’s head on a wall while “tired and frustrated”.
In court today (Wednesday), a prosecuting lawyer said that “papers will be served [on the defence] today” and suggested listing the case for mention next week to ensure that the PE is ready to go ahead as scheduled.
When a defence solicitor confirmed he would receive the legal papers, Judge King said there was no need for a review and listing the PE for October 30, remanded the 26-year-old back into custody, ordering him to be produced to court on that day.