Sharyar Ali, aged 34, has today been sentenced for the appalling murder of baby Hunter McGleenon, following an investigation by detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Major Investigation Team.
Mr Ali, who appeared before Newry Crown Court today, Thursday 27 October, was sentenced to life in prison, serving a minimum of 13 years, having previously pleaded guilty to murder.
Hunter McGleenon, who was 11 months old, died in Keady, County Armagh, on November 26 2019. He died from injuries inflicted by Sharyar Ali.
Detective Inspector Mark Gibson said: “First and foremost, my thoughts today are with Hunter’s loving mother and family, who have suffered terribly. This is a loss that no one – no parent – should ever have to endure.
“Mr Ali, who was in a relationship with Hunter's mother, had been entrusted to look after the baby while she went to visit a sick relative. It was then that he inflicted serious injuries.
“He originally claimed the little one had sustained head injuries from a fall, but he subsequently admitted to murder.
“Evidence gathered, which includes CCTV footage, shows Mr Ali driving from Keady to a casino in Castleblaney, where he remains for almost two and a half hours, leaving baby Hunter outside in the car, alone that cold November evening.
“It’s later that night, however, having returned to the house in Keady, that Hunter’s young life is taken. He dies from serious injuries. Injuries inflicted by Sharyar Ali – the very person who should have been caring for and protecting him.
“It’s been an extremely distressing case, and I’m grateful to my officers for their dedication and sensitivity from the beginning of the investigation right through to today’s sentencing. We have also worked closely with the Public Prosecution Service to bring Mr Ali to justice.
“Unfortunately, I’m acutely aware that the family’s deep sorrow doesn’t end today – it will last a lifetime. And my thoughts remain with them.
“The Police Service of Northern Ireland remains committed to investigating all reports of abuse against children and young people. If you’re concerned about a child’s welfare, please contact police on 101, or in an emergency call 999.”
Statement from Coleen McGleenon, Hunter’s Aunt, on behalf of Hunter’s family:
“On behalf of our family I would like to thank each and every one of the team that worked tirelessly on baby Hunter’s case.
“This monster who murdered a defenceless baby will, at some point, get to go on to live his life whilst we will continue to grieve and struggle with ours.
“No amount of time will make up for what our family have lost - not being able to see baby Hunter take his first steps, say his first words, celebrate his first birthday, or grow and develop in life.
“We have been robbed of life's precious gift. That monster has taken everything from us. We love and miss you Hunter, more than any words could say.
“We will be holding a candlelight vigil for baby Hunter at 7pm on November 26th outside the Tommy Makem Centre in Keady.
“Anyone who wishes to pay their respects are welcome to come.”