A devastated father has called for an inquest into the death of his baby boy, after he witnessed his harrowing birth at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.

Patrick McCormick and his partner, Louise, had been told their son had just a five percent chance of survival, due to trapped fluid in his stomach.

But McCormick said nothing could have prepared him and his girlfriend for the traumatic birth that he witnessed in the delivery room last Monday evening.

As medical staff delivered the baby, his father looked on in horror as the the child's head came away from his body.

In a heart-wrenching interview on Ulster Television, the shaken father admitted he doubts he will ever get over the ordeal.

And he recalled the heartbreaking moment his partner, who was oblivious to the fact that her child's head had been separated from his body, asked to hold her little boy, who the couple named 'Liam James.'

He said: "She [Louise} said, 'Paddy, can I hold him?' And I broke down.

"I had to sit and go through every detail with her."

He added tearfully: "I was just stunned.

"A nurse who's been there for 35 years told me she'd never seen anything like it in her life."

The Belfast Trust believes that the baby was clinically dead at the point of delivery, but that fact will not be known for certain until medical experts analyse the results of a post mortem.

However, McCormick has insisted he wants to ensure that no other family goes through the heartache that he and his partner are enduring.

The couple said they had repeatedly asked for a Caesarian section throughout the pregnancy after being warned early on that there would be problems with the baby and the build-up of fluid in his stomach.

It's understood that this incident is the first of its kind in 15 years within the Belfast Trust area.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Belfast Trust said, "We do not underestimate how painful this situation is for them.

"This has also been a harrowing time for our staff who, throughout a very unusual set of circumstances, have endeavored to give the best possible care.

"They will continue to take all possible steps to help and support this family in the coming weeks."