Millie was brain-stem dead when admitted to hospital, court is told

Published: 4 Oct 2012 20:35

The trial of a man accused of murdering his ex-partner's infant daughter heard today (Thursday) that 15-month-old Millie Martin was already brain-stem dead as consultants, doctors and nurses fought to save her young life.

Rachael Martin leaving Dungannon Crown Court yesterday Wednesday and inset Barry McCarney.

Rachael Martin leaving Dungannon Crown Court yesterday Wednesday and inset Barry McCarney.

The Dungannon Crown Court trial was also told that consultants at the Erne Hospital were so concerned about the injuries found on the little girl, they decided the police and Social Services had to be called in to investigate.

Baby Millie died from severe injuries to the brain. Her 27-year-old mother, Rachael Martin, from Main Street, Kesh, and her 31-year-old ex-partner, Barry Michael McCarney, of Woodview Crescent, Trillick, face charges arising from her death on December 11, 2009.

Today Dr. Matt Cody, the senior consultant anaesthetist at the Erne, told the jury of nine men and three women that in his opinion the toddler was brain-stem dead within a short time of being rushed to the hospital's Accident and Emergency Department by McCarney.

Although Dr. Cody told of "stabilising" baby Millie so she could be transferred to the only intensive child care unit in Northern Ireland for children, the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children, he confirmed that by that time there was neither any improvement nor deterioration in her condition.

"After that time there was no change, other than manipulation of her blood pressure... there was no change in her condition," he stated.

Earlier Dr. Cody said he had been given no past history of Millie's medical history, but that he was aware of the severity of her injuries.

Dr. Cody said that he "felt at the time she was admitted, and in her time in the intensive care unit (of the Erne), I could illicit no brain-stem reflex and I concluded in my own mind, without having done any tests, that she was brain-stem dead".

The senior resident doctor who tried to revive the infant, said she appeared to be so "deeply unconscious" there was no need to sedate her before putting her on a ventilation machine to keep her breathing.

Dr. Chris Guz explained that normally patients, regardless of being either adult or child, often reacted as the breathing tube of the ventilator was placed in their air passage.

However, in Millie's case there was no need to put her asleep, and that her pupils were fixed and did not respond to light.

"She did not have any form of medication to sedate her....there was no need for that," said Dr. Guz.

The senior houseman also told of seeing bruising on the child's chest, like others before him, and bruising around the child's groin area.

"Everybody saw that," claimed Dr. Guz.

Earlier consultant paediatrician, Dr. Rheem Mabrouk, who had just started working at the Erne, told the court she was so worried about the "non-responsive child" and the injuries she'd suffered, it was decided to call in the authorities and told Millie's mother that police and Social Services were to be involved.

Dr. Mabrouk said Millie, whose eyes were quite fixed and dilated, initially had a very fast pulse, but that this soon weakened along with her blood pressure, "so she was in shock".

She said the child was then sent for a CT scan which showed soft tissue trauma to the back of her head and underlying bleeding.

However, she revealed that while checking a set of normal x-rays to ensure that any physical medical intervention was being carried out properly, she uncovered a number of healing fractures to Millie's ribs.

Dr. Mabrouk also referred to bruising on the youngster's forehead, cheek and chest, including a cluster of brown-yellowish bruising on her left side, and that she also found multiple bruising around the child's 'private area'.

The consultant said that because of their concerns, it was decided to bring in outside agencies to investigate how Millie got her injuries.

Earlier the court also heard that Millie's "howling and crying" mother Rachael appeared distraught and anxious when she arrived at hospital to find her daughter already being looked after by a number of doctors.

Her ex-partner McCarney, was also said to have been distressed when he rushed in with Millie bundled up in a blanket.

McCarney, who denies murder, is also accused of sexually penetrating the infant girl, and with unlawfully and maliciously causing the child grievous bodily harm, and causing her death by an unlawful act.

Millie's mother is accused of failing to protect her from the unlawful act that caused her death, and wilfully neglecting her in a manner likely to cause her unnecessary suffering.

It is the prosecution case if she had kept Millie away from McCarney, the child would still be alive today.

At hearing.

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