Monday 22 January 2018

Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy granted bail but must remain under house arrest

Aisling McCarthy Brady
Aisling McCarthy Brady

Brian Byrne in Massachusetts

Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy has been granted bail under the condition she will remain under house arrest in Massachusetts.

The Cavan woman has been in prison since January 2013, when she was charged with killing one-year-old Rehma Sabir who was in her care.

During a bail hearing this morning it emerged that a fresh review of medical evidence by the Massachusetts State medical examiner’s office could take up to a month, and that due to scheduling conflicts from witnesses, the trial would not go ahead until at least after July 4.

Assistant District Attorney General Patrick Fitzgerald said that the defence's application to release McCarthy on bail would result in her involuntarily or voluntarily returning to Ireland.

She had been residing in the US since 2002 after overstaying a 90 day tourist visa.

Arguing against bail, Mr Fitzgerald told the Middlesex County Superior Court in Woburn, Massachusetts that McCarthy could face deportation by the federal US government despite US Immigration and Customs Enforcement stating it would retain its detainer to keep her in the country.

He added that even if she was allowed to remain in Massachusetts under the agreement she would wear a GPS bracelet to track her location, she had “no ties” in the US and would likely seek to return to Ireland to family and friends.

Mr Fitzgerald said it would be difficult to extradite her back to the US, due to “vulnerable” extradition laws between the country and Ireland.

Aisling McCarthy Brady at a previous court appearance.
Aisling McCarthy Brady at a previous court appearance.
Aisling Brady McCarthy
Aisling Brady McCarthy at a previous court hearing
Aisling McCarthy Brady

“It has only happened a handful of times. The treaty has vulnerabilities which would allow Ireland to withhold an extradition,” he said.

Defence attorney Melinda Thompson had told the court the prosecution had “attacked” the Irish government by claiming it would try to “sneak her out of the country”.

Ms Thompson presented McCarthy’s passport to the court, and said she was handing it in so McCarthy would not be able to use it to return home.

She denied that McCarthy would simply be able to apply for another passport, stating that her current passport had been issued in 2010, and that the Irish government would not issue her another.

She requested that bail was set at $15,000 and said that McCarthy had her husband, sister, brothers, a “very large extended family” who had travelled to the US to support her.

“She has a place to go. She can be there in home confinement. There is no reason to believe she wants to flee. Her face is all over the papers in Ireland, so going back there is the last thing she wants to do,” Ms Thompson said.

The defence argued that bail should be granted due to a “substantial change in circumstances”.

Ms Thompson said nine medical experts from around the world had provided reports which showed that the baby was not in fact murdered, and that the toddler had suffered injuries to her spine and leg at a time when she was not under McCarthy’s care.

She also accused the prosecution of delaying the case, an allegation Mr Fitzgerald denied.

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