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James Ring, of Chatham, appears in court charged with baby's murder in Dover

By KentOnline reporter

A man charged with murdering a nine-week-old baby girl has appeared at crown court.

The seriously-ill newborn, named as Aria Ring, was taken to hospital from an address in Crabble in Dover on January 7.

She was transferred to a London hospital but died on January 9.

Police have charged a man with murder. Stock photo

Police have charged a man with murder. Stock photo

James Ring, 21, formerly of the Crabble area but now from Chatham, was charged with her murder and appeared at Maidstone Crown Court today.

He also faces an alternative charge of unlawfully killing Aria.

No details as to how she died or injuries suffered were revealed by prosecutor Frederick Hookway.

Ring was not in the dock but on a TV link with HMP Elmley on the Isle of Sheppey, where he has been remanded in custody.

Wearing a beige jumper and black T-shirt with his dark hair slicked back off his face, softly-voiced Ring only spoke to confirm his name during the brief hearing.

The court set a date for plea and trial preparation on January 5, and a trial is expected to start on May 29.

Christopher Wray, defending, said the case involved complex medical issues and Ring will be represented at his trial by Oliver Saxby QC.

A bail application will be heard by trial judge Philip Statman next week, but he told Ring that until then he would remain at Elmley Prison.

He said: "I am satisfied so I am sure that this is a case where at the current time the defendant should remain in custody.

"Of course, my mind is not closed to any issues that arise thereafter. We are in the early stages and an application for bail will be made next week."

Ring, of Yew Tree Close, will again appear at that hearing via TV link with prison.

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