Dad charged with murder of 11-month-old son who died after 'being thrown in river'

12 September 2019, 20:38 | Updated: 24 October 2019, 11:06

Zak Bennett-Eko, 22, has been charged with the murder of his 11-month-old son Zakari
Zak Bennett-Eko, 22, has been charged with the murder of his 11-month-old son Zakari. Picture: Facebook

By Kate Buck

A dad has been charged with the murder of his baby son who died after allegedly being thrown into the River Irwell yesterday.

The youngster, named as Zakari William Bennett-Eko, was rushed to hospital where he sadly died.

Zak Bennett-Eko, 22, has now been charged with his murder, Greater Manchester Police have confirmed.

He will appear at Manchester Magistrates' Court on Friday.

Emergency services were called to the scene in Radcliffe shortly before 4.25pm, following reports of a baby being thrown off a bridge in his moses basket.

Zakari was retrieved from the water in a critical condition, but perished hours later.

Zak Bennett will appear in Manchester Magistrates' Court tomorrow
Zak Bennett will appear in Manchester Magistrates' Court tomorrow. Picture: Facebook

Local media reported Eko was arrested in a nearby pub where he had ordered a drink and sat down with other customers.

It is believed he had taken his young son out to the shops to buy some milk.

His mum Emma Bennett, also 22, said she was not aware her son had died until she arrived at the hospital.

She paid tribute to him shortly after his death in an emotional social media post.

It said: "I lost my baby today.

"I love my little boy and did everything for him.

"I didn’t know my child was dead until I got to A&E. We sat with him for hours, we held him, we kissed him and then I left.

"Let me grieve for my child, my whole world and so much more. I am alive, although I wish I was dead."

Zakari's mum, Emma Eko, posted an emotional tribute to her son on Facebook
Zakari's mum, Emma Eko, posted an emotional tribute to her son on Facebook. Picture: Facebook
Tributes being laid at the scene where Zakari was reportedly thrown from a bridge
Tributes being laid at the scene where Zakari was reportedly thrown from a bridge. Picture: PA

Detectives are appealing for anyone who may have seen what happened to contact them.

Detective Superintendent Jamie Daniels said: "This is an incredibly tragic incident that has led to an innocent baby boy losing his life and we are doing everything we can to support his family at this unimaginably devastating time.

"I know his loss will be felt by the entire community and our thoughts are very much with his loved ones this evening. ‘A murder investigation is underway and we are working hard to piece together the circumstances that led to the baby boy ending up in the water.

"Whilst we have a man in custody, our investigation is ongoing and I’d urge any witnesses or anyone with any information to get in touch as soon as possible so that we can find out what happened to him."

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