08 Dec 2021

'Tell us what you did to Kayden' – Family appeal to toddler's killer to 'come clean'

The heartbroken family of a three year-old killed by his mum's boyfriend have pleaded with the killer to finally reveal how the child died.

'Tell us what you did to Kayden' – Family appeal to toddler's killer to 'come clean'

The late Kayden McGuinness - his family have appealed to his killer to reveal how the child died

The heartbroken family of a three year-old boy cruelly killed by his mum's boyfriend have pleaded with the killer to finally reveal how the child died.

In a direct appeal to Liam Whoriskey, the toddler's aunt, Sarah McLaughlin, said: "Tell us what you did to Kayden?"

The 25-year-old waiter from Glenabbey Gardens was found guilty last week of the manslaughter of little Kayden McGuinness.

The child's battered body was found in his bed inside the Columbcille Court flat he shared with mum, Erin, and baby sister on 17 September, 2017.

Whoriskey, who was in a relationship with the Kayden's mum, had been babysitting the three year-old and his baby sister at the time.

The child suffered over a dozen injuries to his head and died from bleeding and bruising to his brain.

Despite being found unanimously guilty of manslaughter and child cruelty, Whoriskey is still pleading his innocence, leaving Kayden's heartbroken family in the dark about his final moments.

The family say it is their belief that "evil monster" Whoriskey intended to kill the little boy..

Sarah McLaughlin, sister of the little boy's mum, said:    "The thing is no one knows what went on before Kayden died.

"What did he (Whoriskey) do to him? He won't say.    

"If I was speaking to him directly, I would ask him, tell me what you did?    

"All we have is the evidence we heard in court and that evidence, to us, points to that he meant to murder Kayden.

"The guilty manslaughter verdict has given us some closure but we still believe that the murder charge should not have got dropped."

Whoriskey had originally been charged with murder over the "lively and fun loving" tot's death.

But to the family's surprise, the charge was downgraded to manslaughter towards the end of the 18-day long trial.

He was also found guilty of a charge of child cruelty    related to an incident on 15 August , 2017, when Kayden was found to have sustained a bruised nose and two black eyes.

It took a jury of seven men and five women just 80 minutes to cast the guilty verdicts.

Such was the emotional intensity of the trial, which heard horrific details of injuries to his tiny body, police reinforcements had to be brought inside the courtroom.

Said Sarah: "It was so hard in court for us. You just wanted to jump over the railings and grab him.    

"It was all the worse because he clearly wasn't remorseful, not one bit. He even shook his head when the verdict came back.

"He had it in his head he was getting away with it.    

"We were very angry and agitated and annoyed, heartbroken we were sitting there because of what he did to Kayden.

"And that was the hardest part, having to sit there and listen to the wein's injuries."

Whoriskey claims he did not harm or injure the child after his partner, whom he had gotten engaged to just five days before, left to visit family for a social occasion.

The mum-of-two had put the little boy to bed, without any injuries, and kissed him goodnight.    

She stayed at relative's house before receiving a phone call the next morning to say her son was dead.

Whoriskey, who also lived in the Colmcille Court flat, said he found Kayden's lifeless body in bed at 10am before alerting neighbours.    

He was heard telling a police officer outside his Bogside home, “how am going to tell his mother?”

To date, Whoriskey has told his ex-partner very little about what happened on the night Kayden passed away.

A medical expert told jurors during the trial that the toddler suffered a "catalogue of injuries" to his tiny body.

That included multiple bruises to his neck which were up to seven centimetres long.

There were also 15 non-accidental injuries to Kayden's head and one of his ribs had also been fractured.

The prosecutor said death would not have been immediate and his injuries resulted from him being repeatedly assaulted.

The court also heard details of an incident the day before Kayden's death, where Whoriskey, of Glenabbey Gardens, had taken the child shopping in the city centre.

CCTV footage provided to the court showed the defendant dragging Kayden by his hood and wrist and acting in an aggressive manner.

Sarah said: "We had to sit in court and watch that.    He was so rough with him.    

"There was no audio in the video but apparently he said awful things to him like, 'you wee b******' grow the f*** up.' 

"He was grabbing him by the hood and grabbing his wrists. It was awful to watch.    

"Kayden was a normal child who loved life.    He was just a lively, fun-loving normal wee boy.    

"Loved playing with his toys, he loved his mummy and had a bond with her that no one could ever break. But that was taken away by that f***** b*****."

Sarah added Erin, who told reporters outside court following the verdict that she hoped her ex-boyfriend "rots in jail," has been left completely broken by the loss of her first born.

Sarah said her sister was getting "a lot" of support from the people of Derry.

"She's a strong girl and this past two years she has been amazing. I look up to her," she said.

However, Sarah added Erin has also been subjected to hurtful and untruthful comments on social media, blaming her for Kayden's death.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.