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Murder-accused nanny seeks bail

A LAWYER for an Irish nanny charged with the murder in the death of a one-year-old girl has argued that medical reports indicating that the child suffered bone fractures when she was not in the nanny's care should result in her being released on bail while awaiting trial.

But a prosecutor said the older injuries don't affect the prosecution's allegation that Rehma Sabir suffered severe head injuries during a time when the nanny, Aisling Brady McCarthy, was watching her.

"There is no question that the injury was sustained within the seven hours where the defendant was the sole caretaker," assistant district attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said.

McCarthy is now being held without bail. Judge S Jane Haggerty did not immediately rule on the defence request that bail be set at $5,000.

Her lawyer, Melinda Thompson, said that if she is released, she would be willing to be monitored by an electronic bracelet and to sign documents promising to stay in the United States to face trial.

But Fitzgerald said US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have informed him that if Ms McCarthy is released from jail, they are required to deport her immediately. That's because McCarthy arrived in the US about 12 years ago under a visa waiver programme that entitled her to stay 90 days. Under that programme, people who stay longer than allowed waive their right to appeal and must be deported immediately.

"She will be deported without any assurance that she will return to face these charges," Fitzgerald said.

Judge Haggerty did not indicate when she would rule on the bail request but scheduled another status conference for February 21.

Ms McCarthy (35) had been the baby's nanny for about six months at the time she died.

Irish Independent