Saturday 24 March 2018

'I can't let Emily's suffering continue' - note read to trial

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

Nicola Anderson

The trial of a GP who is pleading not guilty to the manslaughter of her severely disabled daughter has heard that a note was found at the scene which read: "I cannot let Emily's suffering continue."

Dr Bernadette Scully (58), of Emvale, Bachelor's Walk, Tullamore, Co Offaly, has denied the manslaughter of her daughter Emily Barut (11) by an act of gross negligence.

The prosecution alleges she gave toxic amounts of the sedative chloral hydrate to her daughter on September 15, 2012.

The trial at the Central Criminal Court heard the note, signed "Bernie" and dated 15/9, was contained in an envelope found in a brown handbag in the sun room of the house by Det Garda Colin Lawlor, a crime scene investigator.

On the outside of the envelope was written: "If anyone thinks I'm awful for doing this you should've listened to poor little Emily crying the last eight days. I love her dearly."

Inside was a piece of paper with writing on both sides. It read: "I'm sorry love. Andrius, I love you more than you will ever know. You are what's kept me and Em alive over the past five to six years."

"I do not want to die," the note read. "I cannot let Emily's suffering continue. I can't watch it any longer. The pain is too big. The struggle each day is too hard. The loneliness and isolation too much." It continued: "I am of sound mind and I leave everything belonging to me and Em to Andrius, who needs a home."

"This is to cancel a previous will I made at a stressful time," the note read, adding that the will was with "Johanna".

Read more: 'I don’t think she saw her life without Emily' - Partner of manslaughter accused gives evidence at trial

It added: "Katrina, I love you and I'm sorry. Please keep close to dad and look after him for me."

"Mammy, I'm sorry you have to face all this at this time in your life."

The note asked that a wake not be held because: "I don't want people gawking at our bodies."

It asked: "Can we be cremated and our ashes be mixed together and given to Andrius to scatter near the swans at Galway where we were happy.

"Goodbye my love, thank you for all you did for me and Emily. All my love Bernie x Emily x"

A recording of the 999 call made by Dr Scully's partner Andrius Kozlovskis was played. Mr Kozlovskis was not in court at the time.

The call detailed his frantic distress on having discovered his partner and her child and had urged for two ambulances to be dispatched to the scene.

"I think it's very bad," Mr Kozlovskis said, begging the emergency services to "hurry, hurry". He said there was a lady who "had taken sleeping tablets" and a girl who he thought was not breathing. He then said: "I think Emily is dead" and that Bernie was "still asleep".

Mr Kozlovskis was urged by the dispatch operator to go to Emily and to "lay her flat on her back". Mr Kozlovskis's distress was evident as he explained how "something came out".

He told how Emily was in the bed and he was instructed to put her on the ground, before being urged to "go outside and get the ambulance". The call then ended with the sound of the paramedics arriving. Dr Scully wept in court throughout the playing of the recording.

Another recording was played of a telephone call at 2pm on the day of the incident to the Poisons Information Centre of Beaumont Hospital made by someone identifying herself as "Dr Scully of Tullamore".

The caller queried the lethal dosage of a particular drug and claimed she had a patient who had taken a large quantity of pills, adding: "It's not sounding great now, is it?"

Earlier, Elaine Donohoe of the Poisons Information Centre told the court how she had taken the call, recalling how she had had to ask questions but they were answered "without hesitation".

Dr John Michael Morris, a pharmacist and retired director of Irish Medicines Board, gave evidence relating to chloral hydrate, which he agreed would be metabolised more slowly by a smaller, inactive person.

The trial continues.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article contact the Samaritans at 1850609090.

Irish Independent

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