A man has been handed a 15-year sentence for causing the death of a three-year-old boy with suspected autism in Londonderry.

Kayden McGuinness was found dead in bed at his family flat in September 2017.

He had sustained 15 bruises on his scalp and died from swelling and bleeding of the brain.

Liam Whoriskey, 25, was convicted of manslaughter and cruelty to a child by a jury at the Crown Court in Derry in October.

On Monday, he was sentenced to 15 years – half to be served in prison and half on licence.

There are few worse crimes than causing the death of a young child.

Judge Philip Babington

Whoriskey was a former partner of Kayden’s mother and was looking after the vulnerable boy while she was away.

Judge Philip Babington said: “When one stands back from this case, as one has to, it is clear that it is an exceptional case of the utmost seriousness.

“The jury came to the conclusion that the defendant did something - only the defendant knows exactly what - that caused the death of Kayden and the defendant then left him to die.

“He only summoned help when he himself woke up many hours later.

“The defendant was left to look after Kayden but, for reasons that are still not clear, caused his death.”

Whoriskey’s sentenced included 13 years for manslaughter and two years for cruelty to a child during an earlier “unprovoked assault”, to run consecutively.