Original article no longer available
15 May 2003
The wife of a man accused of the murder of their 20-month-old son in an apartment in Clane, Co Kildare two years ago has told his trial that she didn’t want to leave her son alone with him.
This was not because she was afraid he would be violent, but because she was afraid he would take the infant out of Ireland.
Ms Amanda Bailey (aged 29), of Dundrum, Co Dublin, was continuing her evidence to the jury in the trial of her husband, Yusif Ali Abdi (aged 30), originally from Somalia, with an address at The Elms, College Road, Clane, Co Kildare, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of the murder of his son, Nathan Baraka Andrew Ali on April 17, 2001 in the apartment at College Road, Clane.
Opening the prosecution case, senior counsel Michael Durack said that he has been put on notice that a defence of insanity will be raised in the case.
Ms Bailey told the trial she believed her husband was “sick”. She took their son and stayed with her parents in Dundrum as his behaviour got increasingly strange in the months before Nathan’s tragic death.
“It wasn’t so much our marriage, it was his behaviour”, she said. “I mean, I never gave up on our marriage; I knew he was sick.”
On Easter Monday, 2001, when she brought Nathan to visit him, Yusif asked her why she had the right to have Nathan with her all the time, she said. He wanted to see more of him. Ms Bailey said she wasn’t going to leave Nathan with Yusif alone “because I was afraid he would take him out of Ireland”.
She went on to tell the court that she was afraid her husband would try to take Nathan to do to her what he believed she was doing to him. “But I wasn’t doing it,” she said. “I was doing it for him. He needed his own space to get better.”
She agreed with counsel for the defence, Tom O’Connell SC, that in the period leading up to Nathan’s [son] death, Yusif [husband] complained of pains in his stomach, but a doctor who examined him prescribed him anti-depressants because he believed the trouble was in his head, not his stomach.
Ms Bailey agreed that her husband did not want to leave his apartment unless he had to, kept the curtains closed 24 hours a day, believed that the gardai were “out to get him”, believed that Social Welfare workers had followed him, accused his wife of phoning his friends and the Clonskeagh Mosque to say bad things about him, believed his phone was tapped, thought she was poisoning his food with ‘Stain Devils’ and took a smoke alarm apart in the apartment because he thought there was a camera hidden in it.
She also told how on the day he is alleged to have murdered his son, he had two encounters with local people when he ventured outside.
In one, as he was playing with his son outside his apartment, a woman claiming to be a resident challenged him that he did not live there and told him to clear off or she would call the police.
In another, when he went to an ATM in the village to get money, some local children called him “a nig-nog” as he was walking back.