Northern Ireland

Twinbrook father caused baby death 'in a rage'

Christopher O'Neill denies murdering his three-month-old daughter Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Christopher O'Neill denies murdering his three-month-old daughter - pictured in 2015

A father accused of killing his baby daughter three years ago acted "in a rage", a court has heard.

The prosecution at Craigavon Crown Court alleged that Christopher O'Neill lost his self-control when caring for three-month-old Cárágh Walsh.

A prosecution lawyer said the 26-year-old used considerable violence against the baby in February 2014.

The defence dismissed the claims as "utterly fanciful, speculative, and sheer wishful thinking".

Cárágh died two days after being rushed to hospital from her home in Twinbrook.

The prosecution said it was not their case that O'Neill, from Whiterock Road in west Belfast, set out to murder baby Cárágh.

It was rather, the lawyer said, that O'Neill had "reached his limits and simply snapped, leaving her with injuries akin to those received in a high speed crash".

'Caring father'

However, during final submissions to the jury of 10 men and one woman, the defence said Mr O'Neill was a devoted and caring father who had not "lost it".

Rather, he was looking after a sick child, and did all he could for the daughter he loved, said the lawyer.

The defendant was "an innocent man who should be found not guilty of murder and even of manslaughter", he said.

The jury will be asked to consider their verdict in the four-week trial on Thursday.

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