Northern Ireland

Case against murder accused dad 'overwhelming'

Cameron Leslie
Image caption Ryan Leslie denies murdering his 14-week-old son Cameron

A case against a father accused of murdering his baby son is "overwhelming and strong", a court heard on Monday.

Prosecuting lawyer Gary McCrudden told Belfast Crown Court that Ryan Leslie, 26 lied to police and during questioning in the witness box.

He added that one medical expert said that 14-week-old Cameron had all the signs of an abused child.

Mr Leslie from Newtownabbey denies murdering his son in September 2008.

Doctors said that the baby died as the result of a non-accidental trauma injury to the head which caused bleeding onto his brain.

Bruises were also found on his arms, legs, neck and jaw and he had 14 broken ribs.


In his closing statement, Mr McCrudden, said that Mr Leslie, who had separated from the baby's mother a month earlier, had had sole care and control of the child at the various times the injuries were inflicted.

He told the jury of eight women and four men that after he was informed about the fractured ribs the accused claimed he had given his son CPR when he became unwell and tried to explain the head injury with a lie that Cameron had hit his head in the bath.

Mr McCrudden said the evidence against Mr Leslie, from Ballyvesey Green, was "overwhelming" and the jury were entitled to find him guilty.

But a defence lawyer suggested the was a huge void in the prosecution's evidence and that the jury have been given an "incomplete jigsaw puzzle".

At the start of his closing speech, John Orr QC, said that the accused was not the only person who had cared for Cameron in the days and hours before he was admitted to hospital.

Yet Ryan Leslie was the only person the PSNI had ever interviewed under caution, he said.

"There is a great big void", Mr Orr added.

The case continues.

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