Friday, December 18, 2009

Court hears 15 month old Millie may have suffered serious sexual assault prior to her death
Court hears Millie may have suffered serious sexual assault prior to her death

Pacemaker Press 13/12/09 Flowers left at the Scene after a 15 month old baby girl Millie Martin died in a alleged assault at Glebe Park in Enniskillen Co Fermanagh , a 30-year-old was arrested following an attack on the toddler who died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast after she was moved from Erne Hospital on friday Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker


AN Irvinestown man has appeared in court charged with the murder of 15-month-old Millie Martin, where it was alleged that the infant may have suffered a serious sexual assault prior to her death.

Barry McCarney (30) who had been living in Glebe Park, is charged with the murder of Millie on a date unknown between Wednesday 9 and Saturday 12 December. McCarney, who denies the charge, was remanded in custody to appear at Enniskillen Magistrate's Court on January 11.

Harrowing details of the extent of injuries suffered by the infant who, it is alleged, was murdered at her home in Glebe Park, Enniskillen emerged during the court hearing.

Detective Inspector John Caldwell told the court police were alerted to the crime when Millie was brought to the Erne Hospital in Enniskillen on Thursday evening in a 'lifeless' condition. Medical staff at the hospital told police they believed Millie was suffering from serious injuries and may have been sexually assaulted.

A brain examination was carried out at the Erne and Millie was then transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital where she was examined by a consultant paediatrician who noted there was bruising in the vaginal area on the infant and these appeared to be very recent injuries.

Detective Inspector Caldwell explained that Millie's mother Rachel had fed her daughter around 7.30pm on Thursday, she had changed her nappy and put her to bed. At that stage the detective said there were no visible marks noted in the vaginal area.

He said Ms Martin then left her home in Glebe Park to go to the chip shop. This was around 8pm, and the defendant was left in charge of Millie. However, within a 20 -30 minute period Millie was presented at the Erne in a lifeless condition.

The detective told the court there was no one else at home with Millie except McCarney, who he said is not Millie's father, but is the partner of the infant's mother.

He also said he had a statement from Ms Martin to say the child had been well and had no injuries in her vaginal area when she had left her on Thursday night.

Defence solicitor Conor Heaney said his client had been interviewed over a four-day period and said he had given a detailed account to police and had denied any part in Millie's death.

He also asked the police to confirm that they were not in possession of any scientific evidence to date the injuries sustained by Millie.

The detective inspector confirmed this was the case, but said they were carrying out further tests to try to establish such dates.

The solicitor asked the policeman if McCarney had told police during interview that Millie had been in the care of her mother for most of Wednesday and Thursday. The officer said this was correct.

However he went on to say that on the Wednesday evening, the day prior to Millie being taken to hospital, Ms Martin had gone to get a Chinese takeaway, again leaving Millie in McCarney's care.

The Chinese restaurant was closed, and Ms Martin had phoned back to the house to tell McCarney this. She had got no reply. When she tried on a second occasion, McCarney told her he had been at the toilet and that was why he had missed the first phone call. However, when questioned about this by police, McCarney told them he was out bringing in sticks and that was why he had missed the call.

The detective said on Thursday Ms Martin had noticed Millie was lethargic and one of her eyes appeared to be closing.

Turning to the defendant, Detective Inspector said he had gone to work on Thursday but had come home early because he was feeling unwell. The police officer said they had spoken to colleagues who said he was 'extremely agitated' and 'couldn't settle'. They said it was quite obvious to them that here was something wrong with McCarney.

When he told his employers he was sick and needed to go home he indicated that he had vomited in an area, but when they checked there was no sign of him having been sick. Colleagues said it was their opinion that there was something bothering McCarney and he did not want to be at work that day.

Mr Heaney asked if any other location, apart from Glebe Park, was being treated as a crime scene. The detective inspector said no other location was being examined.

Mr Heaney then said prior to his client being charged on Monday night the solicitor had made representations to police as to why McCarney should not be charged. Mr Heaney said this had taken place at 9.04pm on Monday night, and yet a news website carried a story at 9.05pm saying that McCarney had been charged with Millie's murder.

Mr Heaney asked the detective inspector to explain how this story could appear on a website at this time, given that his client's custody record shows he was not charged with the offence until 9.35pm.

The detective confirmed it was around this time, 9.30pm, that McCarney had been charged, but he could not offer any explanation as to how it had appeared on the website prior to this.

McCarney denies the charge of murder and was remanded in custody to appear by videolink at Enniskillen Magistrate's Court on January 11.


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