Thursday 18 January 2018

Nanny accused of killing baby freed on bail but placed under house arrest

Aisling Brady McCarthy at her bail hearing in Massachusetts yesterday
Aisling Brady McCarthy at her bail hearing in Massachusetts yesterday

Brian Byrne and Emma Jane Hade

An Irish nanny charged with the first degree murder of a one-year-old infant in the US has been released from jail after nearly two-and-a-half years.

Aisling Brady McCarthy (36) must remain under house arrest and wear a GPS tracking device for the duration of her trial.

The Cavan woman was charged with killing Rehma Sabir in January 2013. She broke down in tears following the ruling at a court in Massachusetts yesterday.

She must give her passport to US authorities but will be allowed to leave her home for court dates, meetings with her attorneys and doctor's appointments.

She left Middlesex County Superior Court shortly after the ruling in Woburn, Massachusetts.

Speaking afterwards, Ms McCarthy's defence attorney Melinda Thompson said: "It's absolutely fantastic, just the fact that she can go home. It's pretty emotional. Aisling is completely relieved to be out of jail."

Ms McCarthy turned and smiled at members of her family and friends, who celebrated at the ruling by Judge Maureen B Hogan.

Judge Hogan described the fresh review into all medical evidence which is currently under way as "rare and significant".

The prosecution had raised fears that Ms McCarthy would be taken into federal custody and deported upon being granted bail.

However, Judge Hogan said US Immigration and Customs Enforcement told her it would consider Ms McCarthy as being under constructive state custody as long as she agreed to the terms of the bail, and that she would be allowed to remain in the US for the trial.

It also emerged that the medical review, launched by the state medical examiner's office after the defence submitted reports from nine medical experts which said the infant had not been murdered, would take at least a month to complete.

The trial will not begin until July 4 at the earliest.

Locals from Ms McCarthy's hometown in Lavey, Co Cavan, were last night delighted when the news reached them.

Fr Kevin Fay, the local parish priest, described the development as "really fantastic".

"It's great, it is really fantastic news and it is fantastic for Aisling herself," Fr Fay told the Irish Independent.

He said there was a "huge sense of support for Aisling from locals and all the people around" her hometown.

Joe O'Reilly, a Fine Gael TD from Cavan, also welcomed the news and said the local support for Ms McCarthy and the Brady family was "very genuine".

During the hearing, Ms Thompson claimed the prosecution had attacked the Irish Government and alleged it would try to "sneak (Ms McCarthy) out of the country" if she was granted bail.

Ms Thompson requested bail to be set at $15,000 (€13,400) and said Ms McCarthy had the support of her family, who now live in the US.

Irish Independent

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