Published Tuesday, 06 November 2012
Baby Millie Martin, who died as a result of severe brain injuries. (© Pacemaker)
The youngster was found in her cot in the Glebe Terrace home, in Enniskillen, that she shared with her mum Rachael Martin and her mother's then lover Barry McCarney, gasping for breath before being rushed to hospital.
Baby Millie never recovered, and died from severe head injuries in a Belfast hospital on 11 December, 2009, just hours after being transferred from her local Erne Hospital in Enniskillen.
Her 27-year-old mum Rachael, from Main Street, Kesh, is accused of wilfully neglecting and allowing her death, while 33-year-old McCarney, from Woodview Crescent, Trillick, is accused of murdering baby Millie as well as sexually and physically abusing her.
Both deny the charges.
On Tuesday, their trial heard of police suspicions surrounding baby Millie's death and the multitude of injuries the toddler suffered in the months beforehand.
During a police interview in September 2010, it was put to Martin that she knew "something was going on", that Millie was "frightened to be in her own home, she was frightened to go to bed and she has all these unexplained injuries."
The court heard when asked why "didn't she want to go to bed?" Martin replied: "Looking back, she was scared to go to bed."
However, baby Millie's mum maintained that she never noticed anything wrong with the daughter she "worshipped", denying she'd turned a "blind-eye" to her suffering, claiming that what happened to her was a "nightmare".
"I didn't see anything," Martin told detectives, adding that: "I never seen any bruising whenever I changed her, I just did what I had to do."
She told the police: "Believe me, what happened to her, my world's just gone now. I would do anything to protect her ....I worshipped her".
Later when asked if she'd "turned a blind eye" to what was happening, Martin said: "No, definitely not. If I had have had any inkling about what was going on it wouldn't have been happening."
However, when officers pointed out that baby Millie was subjected to "long-term, systematic abuse", and that as the toddler's mum and principal carer, "alarm bells should have been ringing", Martin said: "Why would anybody want to see their child hurt in any way?"
Again when it was put to her that "something did happen to Millie", Martin responded: "I know that only too well. It's a living nightmare."
The case continues.