Published Tuesday, 18 March 2014
Natasha Irish leaving court last month. (© Pacemaker)
Clutching a tissue, a clearly distressed Natasha Irish, 33 and formerly from Crosshill Grove, Aldergrove, in Crumlin, spoke only twice, once to confirm her name, and secondly to plead guilty to causing the death of the baby girl on 24 September 2012, by driving without due care and attention.
No details of the crash were given to Antrim Crown Court on Tuesday, but at the time it was reported that the one-car collision happened shortly before 10am on the Dublin Road, on the outskirts of the town.
Although rushed to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, the baby tragically died from her injuries, while Irish, another woman and a child were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Judge Desmond Marrinan said that the case had enough pain and suffering already and that Irish would receive substantial credit for saving the baby's parents further suffering, in having to sit through a trial, which would come as a relief to them.
Judge Marrinan also agreed to a defence application by junior counsel Andrew Brown, for senior counsel to be appointed before Irish comes up for sentence in May.
The judge said he was always in favour of parity between the parties in cases, and since the prosecution was headed by Jackie Orr QC, it was right that Irish should have the same advantage of senior counsel.
The judge, who said that such tragic cases were becoming quite important, and understandably so, asked for a victim impact report on the baby's parents.
A pre-sentence report is also to be prepared on Irish, who was released on continuing bail, although other reports may also be handed into court, before her sentencing following the Easter break.
© UTV News