Saturday 19 August 2017

GP accused of disabled daughter's manslaughter described as 'phenomenal' carer, trial hears

Dr Bernadette Scully arriving at the Central Criminal Court. Photo: Collins
Dr Bernadette Scully arriving at the Central Criminal Court. Photo: Collins

Natasha Reid

The trial of a woman, charged with the manslaughter of her profoundly disabled daughter, has been told that her care of the child was so good that it was the subject of conversation in their local pharmacy.

Their pharmacist gave evidence of ‘superb’ care on Friday on the fourth day of the trial of 58-year-old Offaly GP Bernadette Scully.

Dr Scully is charged with unlawfully killing 11-year-old Emily Barut at their home at Emvale, Bachelor’s Walk, Tullamore. It’s alleged that she killed her by an act of gross negligence involving the administration of an excessive quantity of chloral hydrate on Saturday, September 15, 2012.

She has pleaded not guilty and is on trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Pharmacist Paddy Carragher of Quirke’s Medical Hall in Tullamore testified that his pharmacy was where Emily got most of her medication. He said that a bottle of chloral hydrate had been dispensed to her on July 27, 2010 and another on August 13 of that year.

The dosage was ‘5 ml when required at night’ and he would have expected a bottle to last 40 nights at that dosage.

Under cross examination by Kenneth Fogarty SC, defending, he said that such was the volume of Emily’s medicine that Dr Scully’s partner used to collect it in a van.

He said he knew Dr Scully, who had worked 100 yards down the street from the pharmacy. He was asked about her care of Emily.

“I’m lucky that I don’t have a disabled child,” he said. “I have three children. Having a disabled child must be horrific. I think the care there was nothing short of superb.”

He said that Dr Scully was ‘so caring in such a difficult situation’.

“I’d say it was phenomenal care,” he said. “In our pharmacy, it was the subject of conversation, how good Bernie was in looking after her for 11 to 12 years, of a very disabled child.”

The trial continues on Friday afternoon before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of seven women and five men.

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