Thursday 25 December 2014

25 years jail 'not long enough for killing my baby'

David Young

Published 26/01/2013 | 05:00

A MOTHER whose sex offender ex-boyfriend murdered her infant daughter has said his 25-year prison term is too lenient.

Co Tyrone labourer Barry McCarney was given the life sentence in Belfast Crown Court for the murder of 15-month-old Millie Martin in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh in 2009.

But the toddler's mother Rachael said her former partner deserved a harsher punishment.

"I don't think it was long enough," Ms Martin said outside court. "Twenty five years isn't long enough."

Her mother and Millie's grandmother Margaret Graham said 33-year-old McCarney, who was not the child's father, should never be freed.

"It wasn't long enough – life should be life," she said.

But McCarney's father Kevin insisted he was innocent of the murder and would be appealing against the verdict.

In setting the minimum term McCarney must serve of his life sentence, Mr Justice Ben Stephens explained that the sentencing framework in Northern Ireland was very different to that in England and Wales, where a whole life term could be handed down.

Explaining that aggravating features, among them the vulnerability and fragility of the victim, required him to make a "substantial upward adjustment", he told McCarney he would have to serve at least 25 years.

The judge described him as a "deeply manipulative individual devoid of any regard for social norms".

"You perceived Millie to be yours to abuse when opportunity presented," he said.

At an eight-week trial last year, jurors unanimously found McCarney guilty of the toddler's murder in December 2009.

He was also found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent and sexual assault.

Once the 25-year term is spent, McCarney can only be released if parole commissioners deem he no longer presents a danger to the public.

Injuries

McCarney moved in with Rachael Martin at her home in Glebe Park in Enniskillen three months before Millie died. In that period the toddler suffered a range of injuries.

The judge said McCarney had struck Millie's head on a hard surface in response to her cries as he inflicted a brutal sexual assault. That head injury would ultimately kill her.

McCarney, from Woodview Crescent, Trillick, Co Tyrone, brought the child into the Erne Hospital in Enniskillen, where she died the following day.

Irish Independent

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