Wicklow Man Loses Appeal Against Manslaughter Conviction For Wexford Baby Death


A Wicklow man jailed for killing his ex-fiancée’s three-and-a-half-month-old baby has lost an appeal against his conviction for manslaughter.

38 year-old Philip Doyle, of Tinakilly in Aughrim in Wicklow, had initially pleaded not guilty to the murder of baby Ross Murphy at Creagh Demesne in Gorey, on April 5th 2005.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy had directed the jury to acquit Philip Doyle of murder and to consider a verdict of manslaughter which was returned unanimously by the jury in the Central Criminal Court following a four-week trial.

He was subsequently sentenced to 11 years in prison on May 15th 2012.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Seán Ryan said yesterday that Doyle’s conviction was “safe”, his trial “satisfactory” and although his grounds of appeal relating to his trial were numerous they did not invalidate the result.

Baby Ross was born in 2004, to Leona Murphy, from Gorey in Wexford. Ms Murphy had met Doyle in September 2004 and began a relationship with him. He was not the father of her baby.

On Sunday April 3rd, 2005, Ms Murphy had left baby Ross at home with her partner but soon after, Philip Doyle told her Ross was in his arms and he was lifeless.

It was accepted in court that Doyle was “in sole charge of a healthy baby when the baby sustained severe injuries all over his body, externally and internally, including his head and brain and also internal bleeding in his eyes. Those injuries resulted in death.”

Mr Justice Ryan said the court was satisfied that the trial judge dealt with the evidence in an “entirely satisfactory” manner.


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