independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Baby 'not in Irish nanny's care when first injured'

Aisling Brady McCarthy at a previous court hearing. Picture: WENDY MAEDA/AP
Aisling Brady McCarthy at a previous court hearing. Picture: WENDY MAEDA/AP

LAWYERS for an Irish nanny accused of killing a baby in the US said medical experts have concluded that the child suffered bone fractures weeks before her death, when she was not in the nanny's care.

Aisling Brady McCarthy's lawyers said in a written motion that prosecutors recently gave them reports from two medical experts whom they had hired – one at the Children's Hospital in Boston and the other at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. They found that compression fractures to Rehma Sabir's spine were inflicted three to four weeks before her death in January 2013.

The motion filed yesterday in Massachusetts asks Judge Jane Haggerty to order prosecutors to give Ms McCarthy's lawyers any other records and information related to the medical reports on the earlier injuries.

During a pretrial hearing, Ms McCarthy's lawyer, David Meier, said the baby was "literally on the other side of the globe," travelling overseas with her mother during that time and not under the nanny's care.

Several weeks later, Rehma was taken to the hospital with severe head injuries on her first birthday. She died two days later.

Prosecutors allege Ms McCarthy – who is originally from Cavan – was the baby's only caretaker when the fatal injuries were inflicted.

The judge will hold a hearing on the defence motion, and also consider a request from Ms McCarthy's lawyers to release her on bail while she awaits her trial, scheduled for April 7.

MaryBeth Long, a spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, declined to comment on the defence claims, but said prosecutors will respond in writing and during the hearing next week.

"This is an important case and it will be tried in court," Ms Long said.

TRAUMA

In the motion, the defence said the state's own experts have now concluded – a year after Ms McCarthy was charged – that compression fractures to Rehma's spine were inflicted during a time when the baby was not with the nanny.

The girl's parents told police that Ms McCarthy had been their nanny for about six months, caring for the baby in their flat in Cambridge, just outside Boston.

Prosecutors have said that Dr Alice Newton, medical director of the Child Protection Team at Boston Children's Hospital, diagnosed the girl as a victim of abusive head trauma, which she said includes injuries caused by violent shaking and by striking the head or causing the head to strike another object or surface.

Irish Independent

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