Friday 23 February 2018

Lawyers for Irish nanny accused of murdering toddler in Boston want charges dropped

Aisling Brady McCarthy, right, from Quincy, Mass., sits with her attorney Melinda Thompson
Aisling Brady McCarthy, right, from Quincy, Mass., sits with her attorney Melinda Thompson
Aisling Brady McCarthy, left, from Quincy, Mass., is led into the courtroom for a hearing to request charges be dropped, in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn, Mass., Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. McCarthy, a nanny who hails from Ireland, is charged with murder and assault and battery on a child in the death of Rehma Sabir in January

Orlaith Farrell Boston

LAWYERS for an Irish nanny accused of murdering a toddler in Boston have asked a judge to dismiss the charges against her - because the prosecution "knowingly presented false and deceptive evidence to the grand jury."

Aisling McCarthy Brady's defence team say prosecutors in Massachusetts acted unethically in the way they presented evidence to the grand jury to secure an indictment.

The 35-year-old, originally from Lavey in Co Cavan but who had been living in the US for 13 years, denies the murder of baby Rehma Sabir in January.

The one-year-old baby was rushed to hospital on January 14, breathing but unresponsive. She died in hospital two days later.

A post-mortem revealed she had suffered subdural haemorrhaging and had bruising on her buttocks consistent with acute violent shaking.

The defence have claimed that "90pc of the evidence put forward to the grand jury was inadmissible" and the case against McCarthy Brady is so weak it doesn't meet the legal threshold of probable cause.

McCarthy Brady sobbed as she was led into Middlesex Superior Court in the Boston suburb of Woburn today, and was visibly distressed during the 90 minute hearing.

Dressed in an orange top and black trousers, the former nanny shook her head as details of evidence put forward to the grand jury were revealed in court.

Defence lawyer Melinda Thompson told the court that there were "no witnesses, no DNA" and the case was only indicted because "inadmissable evidence was included."

Ms Thompson said that details of fractures sustained by the baby girl between "two weeks and two months" before her death were central to the prosecutions case - even though the Cavan woman had no access to the baby during this time.

Ms Thompson said that the toddler’s mother Nada Siddiqui had failed to tell the grand jury that Rehma had fallen off a bed in Pakistan while travelling two months previously.

But it is the prosecution's case that McCarthy Brady had sole custody of, and contact with, baby Rehma during the time the injuries were sustained.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald told the court that the baby suffered from a separation anxiety and was often cranky, frequently suffering from respiratory infections.

McCarthy Brady took the baby out in the pram to soothe her crying but the Friday before her death, Rehma's mum asked that she keep her in the apartment and concentrate on a feeding routine, the court heard.

Texts from McCarthy to her husband revealed that she was "not happy" with the "restrictions placed on her" and this "wasn't her dream job", Mr Fitzgerald told the court.

Mr Fitzgerald the the court that baby Sabir was alert that morning before her mother left for work, playing with her first birthday gifts.

“All evidence in terms of a head injury pointed to the defendant,” he said.

When asked by the Irish Independent about Aisling's frame of mind after the hearing, defence lawyer Ms Thompson said she was "nervous - this is hard."

Judge S Jane Haggerty will consider the motion ahead of a pre-trial hearing scheduled for October 17.

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