Friend 'shocked' at Millie's ear which was 'black from the inside out'

Published: 15 Oct 2012 10:30

Friends of 15-month-old Millie Martin's mother and grandmother have been describing injuries to the toddler in the weeks prior to her death.

15-month-old Millie Martin.

The trial of Millie's 27-year-old mother, Rachael Martin, of Main Street, Kesh, and her former boyfriend, 33-year-old Barry McCarney, of Woodview Crescent, Trillick, who both deny charges arising from her death, heard that there was black and yellowish bruising to the child's ear, and a large bump to her forehead.

Donna Grimsley, a friend of Rachael Martin, said that at one stage she was "quite shocked" at the bruising to what she thought was Millie's right ear, which was "black from the inside out".

She said on another occasion Martin had pointed out to her a "yellowy - fading coloured" bump on the centre of Millie's forehead, but that, as a mother herself, she thought the infant "probably hit her head off the cot in her sleep".

Kim McFarland, a cousin of Millie's grandmother, Mrs. Margaret Graham, said she too had seen both the injury to the child's ear and forehead. She also told the court that she once lifted the toddler under the arms and "she sort of made a face, sort of cringed ...I thought she was making a strange.."

Later she claimed she had told Mrs. Graham that to her the cause of the bruising to the ear "looked more like a slap than a fall" and that the bruise "was horrible looking".

She also agreed later with Martin's defence barrister, Mr. John McCrudden QC, that it was "possible" that the "slap could have been a thump from a fist", but "didn't know", if the ear injury could also have been caused by "someone pulling on an already injured ear".

Rachael Martin's stepfather, Mr. Noel Graham, also told the court of the "nasty looking" bruise to Millie's ear, which was bluish in colour and looked swollen on the inside.

Mr. Graham said while he got no explanation for the injury he "had confidence in Rachael and Millie's grandmother".

He also described seeing a "swelly looking ... oval shaped" bump to the child's head and while on one occasion she also had a red mark on her temple, it had disappeared by the time she went to bed.

The grandfather later described how Millie, whom he admitted spoiling, made a face when he lifted her under the arms.

"When you lifted Millie she did not make any noise, but put a little expression on her face" and agreed it looked as if she "was tensing up your face".

Mr. Graham said that on the day before her death Millie "was in exceptionally good form ... dancing ...and there appeared to be nothing wrong with her".

He went on to explain that the child happily danced away to the ring tone on her grandmother's mobile, so they repeatedly played it back and Millie ... "was enjoying it because she knew she was the centre of attention".

However, the following day "Millie was very clingy" with her mother, and "could be best described as being full of the flu".

Mr. Graham added that while one of the child's eyes was partly shut and "both eyes were very runny, blood-shotty .... all the symptoms of flu", her mother later reported that "Millie had picked up a little".

However, like other family members he rushed that evening to the Erne Hospital and while they waited for news on Millie, her mother's then boyfriend, McCarney, left, returning about 15 minutes later.

Mr. Graham said he was told nothing directly as to what had happened to Millie.

The next morning, it was he who formally identified his granddaughter's body to the police.

The trial continues.

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