Prosecution case ends in Millie trial

Published Thursday, 08 November 2012
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The prosecution case in the murder of Co Fermanagh toddler baby Millie Martin has ended after twenty-one days of evidence and legal argument spread over five weeks.

Prosecution case ends in Millie trial
Baby Millie Martin, who died as a result of severe brain injuries. (© Pacemaker)

The 15-month-old youngster died from severe head injuries in a Belfast hospital in the early hours of 11 December, 2009.

Millie had been rushed unconscious from her Glebe Park home in Enniskillen to the Erne Hospital before being transferred to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

The child's mum, Rachael Martin, aged 27, from Main Street in Kesh, is charged with failing to protect her daughter from the unlawful act that caused her death and with wilfully neglecting her in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering.

Her 33-year-old former partner, Barry McCarney, from Woodview Crescent, Trillick, is charged with her murder and sexually and physically abusing the youngster.

Both accused deny the charges.

While the couple at the centre of the Dungannon Crown Court trial, are under no legal obligation to prove their innocence, their defence lawyers will begin to outline their case next week.

Since the start of the trial the jury of nine men and three women have heard details surrounding the tragic and untimely death of baby Millie allegedly three months after McCarney moved in with the toddler's mum.

Those details included that within just two days, the toddler turned from a smiling dancing child wanting to be the centre of attention, to a limp and lifeless toddler being rushed into her local hospital, where a multitude of injuries, some old, were uncovered.

In his opening prosecution QC Ciaran Murphy claimed that for whatever reason Martin turned "a blind eye" to the suffering of her infant daughter and the sexual and physical abuse allegedly meted out to her at the hands of McCarney.

Mr Murphy said the child's injuries "were too significant, too severe and too many" for her mum not to have noticed them and she must have "known very well that this child was being abused".

The prosecution lawyer further claimed it was this neglect of baby Millie that eventually led to her death, and if the medical evidence was right, the only person capable of having an opportunity of "commiting the fatal act" was McCarney while Martin was out buying him a KitKat.

Mr Murphy also suggested that McCarney's account of trying to revive Millie before taking her to a neighbour's for help were "not consistent with the level of violent injury suffered by this child".

However, the court heard that during a series of interviews, both as a witness, and then a suspect, Martin said her life had been "wrecked" by the death of baby Millie and that she would have done all in her power to protect her.

Martin told police that she put changes in baby Millie's behaviour to her maybe being "a wee bit jealous" of McCarney, but maintained while she had seen a bump on the toddler's head, she couldn't have "laid a finger on her".

In his interviews McCarney, who claimed he found the young child lifeless in her cot, told detectives he wanted those responsible for the toddler's death to be arrested and punished.

McCarney said while he was not baby Millie's natural father, he had "tried to be a dad to her" and had continually spoiled the youngster, plying her with biscuits and sweets behind her mother's back.

Protesting his innocence he said he had "absolutely nothing" to do with her death, that he wouldn't "harm a hair on her head" and that he was "sick ... shocked ... and disgusted" at what happened to her.

The case continues.

© UTV News
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