Sunday 22 July 2018

'I hope the little girl pulls through' - neighbours in shock as woman charged in relation to the assault of daughter (3)

Garda technical bureau carry evidence from the scene at Aubrey Grove Shankill, Co Dublin after a A three-year-old girl remains in a critical condition in hospital after a suspected assault Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Garda technical bureau carry evidence from the scene at Aubrey Grove Shankill, Co Dublin after a A three-year-old girl remains in a critical condition in hospital after a suspected assault Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Gardai at the scene of an incident in Shankill. Photo: Tony Gavin

Robin Schiller and Ian Begley

A WOMAN has appeared in court charged in relation to the assault of a three-year-old girl which left the toddler fighting for her life.

The mother, aged in her 40s, appeared before a special sitting of Bray District Court last night charged with assault causing harm.

It is alleged that the mother assaulted her daughter at a property in Shankill, south Dublin, on Saturday afternoon.

A Garda spokeswoman confirmed that a woman appeared before the court at 8pm last night in relation to the incident.

“The woman was remanded in custody and is expected to appear before court on February 15 at 10.30am,” the spokeswoman added.

Gardaí believe that the mother assaulted the three-year-old in an upstairs bedroom of the property, before notifying emergency services.

She had been detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Shankill garda station.

A source last night told the Irish Independent that the mother had not previously come to the attention of gardaí and there were no previous concerns about her daughter ’s well-being.

The toddler was taken to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, where last night she remained in a critical condition.

The quiet cul-de-sac where the alleged assault took place was packed with emergency personnel and investigating officers in the aftermath of the

incident.

Neighbours of the family of four said they could still not make sense of what had happened.

“I don’t think anyone heard any commotion coming from the house,” said one resident.

“I didn’t know the family that well, but she would often say hello and wave.

“Even yesterday she seemed perfectly fine and offered to help my elderly father out of the car.”

The man said he was still in shock.

“When I heard what happened I just couldn’t believe it,” he said.

“It’s a very quiet neighbourhood and it’s shocking to hear of something like this happening so close to home.

“I just hope the little girl pulls through.”

The woman is believed to have lived in the house for several years with her partner and two children.

Another neighbour described how she saw the mother being escorted into an unmarked car shortly after gardaí arrived at the scene.

“I must have seen about 20 emergency vehicles and gardaí on the road. I really didn’t know what had happened,” said the neighbour.

“After a while, I saw [her] walk slowly out of the house and into an unmarked car. Her head was down and she got into the vehicle before being driven off.”

The neighbour then saw her partner walk up to the house with his other child.

“The father wasn’t in the house at the time – he was out with the little boy,” she said.

“After the wife had gone, I saw him casually walk up to the house. This must have been before he realised what had happened.”

The elderly neighbour described the woman charged in relation to the assault as “quiet”. “You would often see her walking up and down with the little girl. They were a picture-perfect family. I’m so sad for them all,” she said.

Another local of the Shankill cul-de-sac said the community was praying that the three-year-old recovers.

“I’ve heard she’s in an induced coma and in a very bad way,” said the elderly woman.

There was a small Garda presence at the scene yesterday afternoon.

Non-uniformed officers continued to make door-to-door enquires, while the family home remained sealed off.

In the hours that followed, the Garda tape was removed.

A number of gardaí also entered the property throughout yesterday, later re-emerging with a number of evidence bags.

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