A MAN arrested on suspicion of killing his baby son has denied intimidating a potential witness against him – his partner, who is the child's mother.
Stephen Ward, 23, formerly of Burge Court, Cirencester, was arrested in June after his nine-month-old son died in suspicious circumstances. After being questioned he was released on police bail pending further enquiries.
At Gloucester crown court last Thursday he pleaded not guilty to intimidating his partner Paula Watts by phone and social media and by parking at her workplace in Cirencester and staring at her.
He was remanded in custody to await trial on January 14.
It was on June 10 this year that emergency services were called to an address in Cirencester amid concerns for the health of the baby boy.
The child was taken to Bristol Children's Hospital but died on Wednesday, June 11.
Gloucestershire police subsequently said they were: "investigating whether his injuries were non-accidental."
A spokesman said at that time: "A man in his 20s from Cirencester was arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the case."
The charge against Ward last Thursday was that between June 19 and July 17, knowing that Ms Watts was assisting in the investigation of an alleged offence, he intimidated her by phoning her to tell her he was on bail, posted comments on social media and then attended her workplace and stared at her, causing her alarm and intimidating her so that the progress of the investigation would be obstructed.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC remanded him in custody until November 21when a further plea and directions hearing will take place.
The judge told Ward that if he was charged with murder the intimidation case would probably "put into the long grass" pending the outcome of the murder trial.
Ward's defence said he would be applying for bail as soon as he was able to offer a suitable address to live at.