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Murder-accused tried to revive baby, jury told

A MAN accused of shaking his partner's child to death was seen "frantically" trying to revive him, a jury has heard.

Aidan Murphy said he saw the accused Philip Doyle (34) place baby Ross Murphy on a coffee table and give him mouth to mouth.

Doyle now stands accused of the murder of the three-and-a-half-month-old child.

Mr Murphy told the Central Criminal Court he knew the child's mother, Leona Murphy, and her family, but is not related to them.

Around 7pm on April 3, 2005, Mr Murphy said a "distressed" Leona Murphy asked him for a lift as her child was sick and she needed to get home quickly.

He said he drove her to her house at Creagh Demesne in Gorey and Ms Murphy ran inside. Mr Murphy said he followed shortly afterwards and saw baby Ross in Doyle's arms. He said he knew Philip Doyle to see.

He said the baby had no clothes on and was wrapped in a blanket. Mr Murphy said he saw Doyle place the infant on the table in the sitting room and give him mouth to mouth and chest compressions.

He went outside to move his van and when he returned to the house, Ross wasn't making a sound and his lips were blue.

In cross examination, Mr Murphy said he saw the baby get sick and vomit up a green substance.

He said Doyle was "frantically" trying to revive the baby.

Earlier, the Central Criminal Court heard from Ross Murphy's grandparents and aunts, who described the child as a "fine, happy, healthy boy".

His granny, Catherine Murphy, said she started praying for the child after she heard he was being rushed to hospital as he wasn't breathing.

Mrs Murphy said her daughter rang her around 6pm on April 3 telling her there was a serious problem with Ross.

She said she couldn't believe it when she heard Ross wasn't breathing and was being rushed to Wexford hospital as the child was "only home from hospital".

The court also heard from the child's grandfather, Brendan Murphy, who said the whole family was distraught when they learned that Ross was brain dead.

The jury at the Central Criminal Court also heard from paediatrician Dr Bilal Ahmed Sethi who treated Ross Murphy at Wexford General Hospital on March 31, 2005, and again when he was rushed back to hospital on April 3. Cross examined by Giollaiosa O Lideadha, Dr Sethi accepted that a rash on baby Ross was "unlikely to be caused just by friction".

Mr O Lideadha said the jury will hear from a number of witnesses who will say that Ross had a rash in the days before he died. The rash was seen in different places on his body and had been fading and coming and going for two weeks.

A statement from Dr Eamon Tierney was also read into evidence by Paul Carroll, prosecuting. Dr Tierney said the doctors who battled to save the life of baby Ross operated on the working diagnosis that he had meningococcal septicaemia.

Doyle, of Tinakilly, Aughrim, in Co Wicklow, has denied murdering Ross Murphy.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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