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GP accused of killing daughter told gardai 'she died in my arms'


Bernadette Scully

Bernadette Scully

Bernadette Scully

A doctor accused of the manslaughter of her profoundly disabled daughter told how she "died in my arms" after she gave her too much sedative, a court has heard.

Bernadette Scully (58) told gardai that she had given her child double what she would have normally given her in a 24-hour period, but said her death was not premeditated.

She also told how "her little lips went blue" when she gave her the final syringe.

Ms Scully denies unlawfully killing Emily Barut at their home at Bachelor's Walk, Tullamore.

It is alleged that she killed her by an act of gross negligence involving the administration of an excessive quantity of chloral hydrate on September 15, 2012. She has pleaded not guilty.

The GP's interviews were read yesterday on the fifth day of her trial.

Inspector Ger Glavin of Portlaoise Garda Station testified that he arrested Ms Scully and brought her to Tullamore Garda Station on April 7, 2014. She was interviewed four times that day.

The trial has heard that Emily had severe epilepsy, as well as microcephaly and cerebral palsy. She had the mental age of a six-month old, and could not move or speak.

Ms Scully told gardai that she had been in a lot of pain for the last two weeks of her life, after having a procedure to replace the tube into her stomach through which she received fluids and medication.


She said she had given her chloral hydrate when she became upset at 2am and 6am, and had given it again when she had an 'unprecedented' seizure around 11am.

It was just the two of them in the house - her partner was at her nephew's funeral.

"My whole aim had been to keep her alive and keep her going," she said.

She told gardai that she had never given that much chloral hydrate before and accepted she had given too much.

"What was I to do, stand there and watch her fit?" she said.

Ms Scully told how "her little lips went blue" when she gave her the final syringe.

"I'm not sure how long it took. It seemed like an eternity.

"My hands were shaking," she added. "I took her up in my arms and she died in my arms."

She was asked what her aim was in giving the final dose.

"To stop the fit," she said.

"Did you know deep down what the probable outcome was?" she was asked.

"I would say no, not at the time," she replied, adding that she had been panicked.

It was put to her that she was relieved when it was over, but Ms Scully said that is not how she felt.

"I wanted to go with her. Even to this day, I didn't' want her to be on her own," she said.

"At the time, I didn't stop to think," she said. "I had nothing else to give her."