Monday 20 November 2017

Father charged over death of baby son described as 'poor communicator'

John Tighe leaving Castlebar District Court. Photo: Keith Heneghan/Phocus
John Tighe leaving Castlebar District Court. Photo: Keith Heneghan/Phocus
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A man charged with the manslaughter of his baby son was described in court yesterday as a poor communicator.

John Tighe (39), of Lavallyroe, Ballyhaunis in Co Mayo, is charged with the unlawful killing of the infant. He is facing a second charge of wilful neglect.

The charges relate to an alleged offence on June 1, 2013.

Mr Tighe, who has since had a second child with his partner, was arrested and charged on Monday.

Castlebar District Court heard Mr Tighe's partner was standing by him following the death of their first child and the two remained a couple.

Defence solicitor Alan Gannon described the case as "tremendously sad", adding that the accused had been left distraught by the death of his infant son.

He told the court Mr Tighe denies the charges and was anxious for the trial to proceed.

"He wants to put this matter behind him," he added.

He said Mr Tighe had co-operated fully with gardaí at all stages. He had presented voluntarily for two garda interviews before he was formally interviewed by gardaí in July 2015.

The court heard that gardaí had gathered substantive evidence over a lengthy three-year investigation, including several medical reports from three separate doctors.

Judge Mary Devins heard that the Director of Public Prosecutions had instructed the accused to stand trial at the Central Criminal Court on the manslaughter charge.

The court heard Mr Tighe was not working and his father had died recently. Mr Gannon said the accused had received great community support from neighbours.

Inspector Tom Calvey said the State opposed bail given the seriousness of the charge, the nature of the evidence and the likely sentence in the event of conviction.

However, Mr Gannon said his client was not a flight risk and would abide by any bail conditions. Mr Tighe was granted bail on his own bond of €300 and an independent surety of €2,000, which is to be paid by a neighbour.

He must give an undertaking not to apply for any travel documents, furnish a mobile telephone number to gardaí and sign on at Claremorris garda station twice a week.

He was remanded in custody to Castlebar garda station overnight, pending payment of the surety today. He will then be remanded on bail pending preparation of the book of evidence.

Irish Independent

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