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Father who dangled three-and-a-half-month-old baby over river pleads guilty to endangering her life

The accused was remanded in custody to appear via-video link from prison for the sentencing hearing.

Image: Laura Hutton via RollingNews.ie

A 28-YEAR-OLD father who dangled his three-and-a-half-month-old baby girl upside down by one leg over a river has pleaded guilty to endangering her life. 

At Ennis Circuit Court, the man pleaded guilty to five separate charges concerning a tense four hour stand off with gardaí in Ennis on 10 April and the early hours of 11 April last. 

Members of the Garda Armed Response Unit along with trained negotiators were called in to defuse the situation concerning the father and his baby girl. 

The man was arrested and the baby was returned into the arms of her mother shortly after 2am on 11 April.

Today, the man was appearing in court via video link from prison where he is currently on remand after three failed attempts to secure bail.

The man – who can’t be named for legal reasons – pleaded guilty today to intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct where he held the baby upside-down by one leg over the River Fergus at Woodquay, Ennis which created a substantial risk of death or serious harm contrary to Section 13 of the Offences Against the Person Act on 10 April last. 

The man also pleaded guilty to at a number of locations in Ennis to wilfully assaulting, ill-treating and neglecting his baby daughter in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering and injury to the baby’s health and seriously affect her well being on 10 and 11 April.

The man also pleaded guilty to making a threat to Garda Tim Quirke at Carmody Street, Ennis intending Garda Quirke to believe that it would be carried out to kill or cause serious harm to the baby on 10 April.

The man also pleaded guilty to without lawful excuse making a threat to Alan West for West to believe that the accused would kill or cause the baby serious harm at Barrack Street, Ennis on 10 April.

The man also pleaded guilty to making a threat to a woman for her to believe that the accused would kill or cause serious harm to the baby at Friar’s Walk on 11 April.

Persons convicted in the circuit court of offences under Section 13 Non Fatal Against the Person Act are liable to prison terms up to seven years.

The man also pleaded guilty to two assault causing harm charges against the mother of the baby girl at two different locations in Ennis on 10 April that occurred prior to the stand-off with gardaí concerning the baby girl.

As part of the investigation, gardaí took 60 witness statements and sought CCTV from 30 different premises in Ennis.

Counsel for the State, Lorcan Connolly BL stated that the plea has been entered without the case occupying a trial date and can be considered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.

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Judge Brian O’Callaghan told the court that “it is an early plea”. 

Connolly stated that two other charges are to be taken into consideration and the evidence will be heard “on a full facts basis”. 

Counsel for the accused, Michael Collins SC stated that a psychiatric report into his client “is in train”.

Collins requesting a sentencing date for his client and Judge O’Callaghan stated that evidence in the case would be heard on 5 November at Ennis Circuit Court. 

Judge O’Callaghan remanded the accused in custody to appear via-video link from prison for the sentencing hearing.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

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Gordon Deegan

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