Sunday 18 March 2018

Irish nanny pleads not guilty to murder of baby

Aisling Brady McCarthy has been remanded in custody in the US charged with murdering a one-year-old girl she was caring for
Aisling Brady McCarthy has been remanded in custody in the US charged with murdering a one-year-old girl she was caring for

Orlaith Farrell

AN Irish nanny has pleaded not guilty to murder of a baby girl in Boston.

A tearful Aisling Brady McCarthy appeared at Middlesex Superior Court yesterday where she was formally charged with violently killing one-year-old Rehma Sabir.

The 34-year-old, originally from Lavey, Co Cavan, sobbed as she responded: 'Not guilty.'

Middlesex District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald outlined the prosecution's case against Brady during the arraignment.

The court  heard that baby Rehma Sabir was “neurologically alert” when her mother left for work the morning of January 14.

Neighbours were prompted to knock on the door a short time later after hearing an “excruciating cry”, but no one answered.

The court also heard evidence that the wall next to the tot's changing table was missing a chunk of plaster which suggested “forceful contact with the corner of the table.”

Rehma's grandparents, who had been in and out of the house that day, raised the alarm that afternoon when the child was still sleeping.

The toddler was rushed to hospital after medics found her breathing but unresponsive.

The baby was hospitalised with bleeding of the eyes and swelling on the brain. A brain scan revealed she had suffered subdural haemorrhaging and had bruising on her buttocks.

She died two days later.

Fitzgerald told the court that the child's injuries were consistent with “violent shaking and impact to the head.”

Brady was arrested on January 21 and it is the prosecution’s case that she had sole custody of and contact with baby Rehma when she suffered the horrific attack.

Melinda Thompson, Brady's lawyer, maintained her client’s innocence, insisting the “wrong person” was in custody.

In her evidence she drew attention to the prosecution’s lack of a time frame for when the baby suffered fractured vertebrae.

Ms Thompson said the change of direction was “convenient” because the nanny hadn't been with the child from early December until early January during which time those injuries could have been sustained. 

The 34-year-old had been charged with assault and battery of a child causing substantial bodily harm.

But those charges were upgraded to murder earlier this month following the results of an autopsy. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was blunt force head injuries and the death was homicidal and not accidental.

Ms Thompson requested bail and insisted that Aisling was not a flight risk. “She wants to stay here, face the charges and clear her name,”  she said.

The prosecution argued that extradition back from Ireland would be impossible.

Brady, who has been in custody since January, let out a moan when bail was denied.

A pre trial conference will take place on May 9.

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