NEW MOSSLEY MAN DENIES KILLING HIS BABY SON

Ryan Leslie arrives for the opening of his trial at Laganside Crown Court in Belfast, where he stands accused of murdering his baby Cameron Black, the son of his former girlfriend. INNT 02-102-CON
Ryan Leslie arrives for the opening of his trial at Laganside Crown Court in Belfast, where he stands accused of murdering his baby Cameron Black, the son of his former girlfriend. INNT 02-102-CON
0
Have your say

THE trial of a New Mossley man accused of killing his baby son got under way at Belfast Crown Court on Monday, January 10.

Cameron Jay Leslie was just 14-weeks-old when he died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in September 2008.

The baby’s 26-year-old father Ryan John Leslie, from Ballyvesey Green in the estate, denies murder. He also faces a further charge of grievous bodily harm.

Prosecution lawyer Ciaran Murphy said that Cameron had died from a blunt trauma injury to the back of his head. The child was also found to have fractured ribs.

Mr Leslie, who had tried to take his own life just days before Cameron’s death, claims his son had banged his head on a plastic bath and that he may have caused the baby’s rib injuries while attempting to give him first aid.

The trial continues and is expected to last several weeks.

Cameron Jay Leslie was just 14-weeks-old when he died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in September 2008.

The baby’s 26-year-old father Ryan John Leslie, from Ballyvesey Green in the estate, denies murder. He also faces a further charge of grievous bodily harm.

Prosecution lawyer Ciaran Murphy said that Cameron had died from a blunt trauma injury to the back of his head. The child was also found to have fractured ribs.

Mr Leslie, who had tried to take his own life just days before Cameron’s death, claims his son had banged his head on a plastic bath and that he may have caused the baby’s rib injuries while attempting to give him first aid.

Court heard that the child’s mother, Sheree Black, had agreed to Cameron spending an extra night in the care of his father at his flat, but that she wouldn’t have done so had she known he had tried to kill himself the previous day.

Ms Black said that Mr Leslie had attempted suicide on a number of occasions while they were together, but she saw this as “attention-seeking behaviour”.

After the pair split up, baby Cameron was left in his father’s care on a number of occasions.

The court was told that the child had been handed over to Mr Leslie on a Tuesday in September 2008.

However, on the Wednesday, Mr Leslie phoned his ex-partner to ask if the baby could stay with him that night as well, saying “Cameron is brilliant”.

The child was rushed to hospital the next morning and was clinically dead by the following day.

On cross-examination, Ms Black accepted that prior to Cameron’s birth both she and Mr Leslie had been drug users - smoking cannabis frequently and occasionally taking ecstasy and cocaine.

Continued on page 12...

Continued from page 1...

She accepted the description of their 22-month relationship as “stormy” and detailed a number of incidents of violence in the family home.

However, she said that she never thought that Mr Leslie would harm their child.

“No matter what Ryan may have done to me, I never ever thought he would do anything to endanger his son,” she said.

According to Mr Leslie, he found the baby lying in his cot “like a zombie, his eyes rolling in the back of his head... like a wee boy who’d over-dosed”.

Mr Murphy told the jury of eight women and four men that Mr Leslie’s claims do not fit the evidence and that, when they heard the evidence of all the doctors and civilians, they would be “firmly convinced” of his guilt.

The accused claims he showed baby Cameron “nothing but love and devotion”. Throughout 21 police interviews he maintained that he never shouted at his son, dropped him, punched him or lost his temper with him - although he did admit cursing at the baby, calling him abusive names when he cried, as that was the way he had been brought up.

The lawyer told the jury that they would hear evidence from medical experts and that this evidence would show the injuries sustained by Cameron Leslie were not caused accidentally.

Mr Murphy said that the fatal head injury occurred between 48 and 72 hours before the baby died.

The jury heard that the person looking after the child during this time was Mr Leslie.

Mr Murphy said it was the prosecution’s case that Ryan Leslie had carried out an act with the intention to kill or seriously harm the child.

The trial continues.