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Man appears in court on murder charge after baby son pulled from river

Baby Zakari Credit: GMP

A man has appeared in court charged with murder after the death of his baby son who was rescued from a river.

Eleven-month-old Zakari William Bennett-Eko was retrieved by firefighters from the River Irwell in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, after reports that a child was in the water shortly before 4.25pm on Wednesday.

He was taken to hospital from the scene near Blackburn Street in the town centre, but died a short time later.

Zak Eko, 22, of no fixed address, made his first appearance at Manchester Magistrates' Court on Friday.

In a hearing lasting barely a minute, he was flanked by prison officers as he entered the dock and gave his name as Zak Bennett-Eko and confirmed his date of birth.

Eko, wearing a grey top and grey jogging bottoms, was told by Deputy District Judge Vincent McDade that the matter needed to be dealt with in a crown court.

The defendant was further remanded in custody and will next appear at Manchester Crown Court on Monday September 16.

Since the tragic incident, tearful mourners - many who were mothers with young children - have left flowers, soft toys and candles at the scene.

Among the tributes was a large cuddly bear with a card that read: "To a beautiful little boy. Sleep tight little man. Our thoughts are with your family. From all of us at Lidl Radcliffe."

One card with flowers read: "Goodnight and God Bless beautiful innocent boy. Fly high Angel."

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