Wednesday 21 March 2018

Mother stood by to let partner kill daughter, trial told

Millie died two weeks before Christmas 2009 from severe trauma to the head.
Millie died two weeks before Christmas 2009 from severe trauma to the head.
Millie’s mum Rachel Martin leaving Dungannon Court.
Barry McCarney is charged with the baby’s murder.

Deborah McAleese

A MOTHER stood by and let her boyfriend abuse and eventually murder her 15-month-old daughter, a court has heard.

Rachael Martin's young daughter Millie Martin would be alive today if her mother had intervened, a prosecution barrister told a jury at Dungannon courthouse yesterday.

The 27-year-old from Main Street, Kesh, Co Fermanagh, is charged with allowing cruelty and the death of her daughter.

She appeared in the dock for the first day of trial yesterday alongside her ex-boyfriend Barry McCarney (33), from Bridge Street, Trillick, Co Fermanagh, who is accused of abusing, sexually assaulting and murdering the child.

Millie died two weeks before Christmas 2009 from severe trauma to the head while living with her mother and Mr McCarney at Glebe Park in Enniskillen.

The court was told that she would have become ill almost immediately after the "irreversible" head injury, which caused swelling to her brain.

When she was brought to hospital she was also found to have seven fractured ribs which had occurred about four weeks earlier.

The court was told that to sustain those injuries she would have been severely gripped or squeezed with force similar to that experienced in a road traffic accident.

She also had bruises all over her body and had been punched or jabbed in the stomach.

Brushing and swelling consistent with sexual assault were also discovered.


The prosecution accused Mr McCarney of abusing Millie for several months before he killed her. He said the abuse started after Millie's first birthday when he and the child's mother embarked on a relationship.

He also accused Rachael Martin of having "wilfully closed her eyes to what she knew and ought to have known was happening and likely to happen".

"The injuries which Millie had were too severe and too many for her not to have known very well this child was being abused.

"For whatever reason, whether it was the relationship with Barry McCarney, she did not do anything to stop it.

"She did not take any action to stop it getting out of control.

"She doesn't accept or express any wrongdoing. We say that is inconsistent with the level of abuse suffered by this child.

"Had she taken steps to remove the child from Barry McCarney this child would not have died," he said.

"Millie Martin had her first birthday on September 5, 2009. It was around that time that her mother formed a relationship with the defendant.

"Up until the day of her daughter's birthday there was no evidence to suggest she had suffered any form of abuse," the prosecution said.

He added: "However, from her first birthday she was subjected to physical abuse and it was during that time that Barry McCarney was staying in the house."

Millie died on December 11, 2009. Her mother had left her daughter alone with Mr McCarney to go to the shop when the child was allegedly injured. It is the prosecution case that Mr McCarney was the only person with the opportunity to commit the fatal injuries.

The jury was told they will hear evidence from nurses and doctors who attempted to save Millie. These will give evidence about Millie's injuries, as well as the demeanour of the accused while in hospital with the child.

"You will be satisfied that the evidence is clear and persuasive, to the extent you are firmly convinced of the guilt of the two accused," said Mr Murphy.

The case is expected to run until December.

Irish Independent

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