Woman held on suspicion of murder over death of baby

A second child is in intensive care following the tragedy in north Belfast.
Woman held on suspicion of murder over death of baby

By Jonathan McCambridge and David Young, PA

A 29-year-old woman is being questioned on suspicion of murder following the death of a baby at a house in Belfast.

A second child is in intensive care following the tragedy at Brompton Park in the north of the city which occurred on Tuesday evening.

The MP for the area said the local community had been left stunned following what is understood to have been a domestic stabbing.

The house at Brompton Park in Belfast where the tragedy occurred (Jonathan McCambridge/PA)

Detective Chief Inspector Millar from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s major investigation team said: “Police were called to the house shortly after 8pm and discovered the injured baby and another injured child in the house.

“Despite the efforts of the emergency services the baby was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

“The other young child was taken to hospital and remains in intensive care.

“A 29-year-old woman who was also in the house has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder and remains in custody at this time.

“Our thoughts are with the baby’s family, who are being supported by family liaison officers.

“While our investigation is at any early stage, I can confirm that at this stage we are not looking for anyone else in relation to this tragic death.

“I would like to thank the local community for the support that they have provided and would appeal to anyone with any information that can assist our investigation to contact us.”

Sinn Fein North Belfast MP John Finucane visited the scene on Wednesday.

MP for North Belfast John Finucane said it was a ‘tragic situation’ (Jonathan McCambridge/PA)

He said: “It was a very tragic situation which unfolded here in Ardoyne last night.

“It is my understanding that first responders entered a house, they found two young children very seriously injured and despite their best efforts one child died at the scene.

“Another child has been taken to hospital and is currently in a critical condition.

“Our hopes and prayers are that that child will pull through and make a full recovery.

“Police have arrested a 29-year-old woman, they have commenced a murder investigation also so I think that process has to take its own course.

“Everybody in the community, their thoughts are with the families that are directly affected by this.

“It is a tragic situation compounded by the fact that we are dealing with somebody who has died at such a young age.”

Mr Finucane added: “I think there is a senselessness to it, I think people find it very difficult to try to comprehend the facts as they are being relayed and the facts as they are emerging.

“It is incredibly difficult and will obviously leave a mark on those who are most impacted by it, and all we can do is rally round those who need support at this time.

“This has been hugely impactful.

“There were neighbours who assisted and some people who would have witnessed scenes that they shouldn’t have to witness.

“Ardoyne is a very proud community, it is a resilient community also and I have no doubt whatsoever that they will rally around each other at this very difficult time, they will provide help and assistance for those who need it.

“I would also just stress for people to exercise caution and sensitivity in regards to what they would post or share on social media, there is a live murder investigation and people need to be respectful of that process as well.”

People Before Profit councillor Fiona Ferguson said the news was “truly devastating”.

“A wave of shock began in Brompton Park last night and spread out across north Belfast,” she said.

“After something so shocking, community solidarity, community support, rallying around each other is going to be absolutely paramount.”

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