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Pre-trial set for parents in baby death case

A pre-trial date has been set in the case of a young Halifax couple accused of seriously injuring their infant daughter.

A pre-trial date has been set in the case of a young Halifax couple accused of seriously injuring their infant daughter.

Ashiqur Rahman and Jane Gomes will return to Halifax Provincial Court Jan. 20 to set a firm date for what will likely be a five-day trial, a judge ruled yesterday. For now, a tentative trial date has been set for April 19.

The couple, originally from Bangladesh and staying in Canada on student visas, are charged with aggravated assault in connection with the death of their seven-week-old daughter, Aurora Breakthough. The child was admitted to the IWK Health Sciences Centre with serious injuries on July 23 after her parents called 911 from their apartment on Gottingen Street. She died four days later, but an official cause of death has not been released.

Crown prosecutor Denise Smith reiterated yesterday the charges against the couple could change once a medical examiner’s report has been filed in the case. That report is expected early in the new year, Smith told the judge.

If the charges are upgraded, the couple will most likely be tried separately.

Gomes and Rahman are forbidden from having any contact with one another, and were brought to the courthouse in separate vehicles. They sat on the defendant’s bench flanked by five sheriffs, and appeared relaxed as they listened to the exchanges between their lawyers and the judge.

Both have been in custody since July 25, and have once again been remanded to the Burnside jail to await their next court appearance. On that date, Gomes is scheduled to again have a bail hearing. It was held over for a second time yesterday.

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