13/09/2019 12:07 BST | Updated 13/09/2019 16:53 BST

Father Charged With Murder Of Baby In River Appears In Court

Eleven-month-old Zakari William Bennett-Eko died after he was retrieved from the River Irwell in Manchester on Wednesday.

Baby Zakari William Bennett-Eko was rescued from the river but died later in hospital 

A man has made his first appearance in court accused of murdering his 11-month-old son, who died after being found in a river.

Zakari William Bennett-Eko was pulled out of the River Irwell in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, by firefighters after reports that that a child was in the water shortly before 4.25pm on Wednesday.

He was taken to hospital from the scene near Blackburn Street in the town centre, but died a short time later.

Zak Eko, 22, of no fixed address, was brought from custody to Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

In a hearing lasting barely a minute, he was flanked by prison officers as he entered the dock and gave his name as Zak Bennett-Eko and confirmed his date of birth.

Eko, wearing a grey top and grey jogging bottoms, was told by Deputy District Judge Vincent McDade that the matter needed to be dealt with in a crown court.

The defendant was further remanded in custody and will next appear at Manchester Crown Court on Monday September 16.

Tearful mourners, many who were mothers with young children, left flowers, soft toys and candles at the scene.

Among the tributes was a large cuddly bear with a card that read: “To a beautiful little boy. Sleep tight little man. Our thoughts are with your family. From all of us at Lidl Radcliffe.”

One card with flowers read: “Goodnight and God Bless beautiful innocent boy. Fly high Angel.”