LATEST: Injury to Millie Martin 'fatal' from the moment of impact, court told
Published: 15 Oct 2012 17:11
A consultant neuro-pathologist has told the Millie Martin murder trial that an injury to the back of the child's head was "fatal" from the moment it was struck, setting off a chain of events which were irreversible.
Dr. Brain Herron told prosecution QC Ciaran Murphy the head injury caused the brain to swell, resulting in that section of the brain, dealing with the "basic functions" such as breathing, swallowing and heart rate, being crushed "and that's what happened in Millie's case".
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, both deny charges arising from her death.
Dr. Herron told Dungannon Crown Court: "What happened to Millie was so severe she would have been extremely ill and most likely unconscious."
He said he thought the onslaught of unconsciousness would have been "probably immediate''.
Under cross-examinations by McCarney's defence barrister, Elis McDermott QC, it was revealed that defence and prosecution experts had met in London in August, where it was agreed Millie's injuries were "non-accidental''.
However, while Dr. Herron estimated the fatal head injury was "less than two to three days old'' and that it was "sustained shortly before the child was admitted to hospital..... it was not possible to be precise as to when this occurred''.
The doctor also told McCarney's lawyer that he could not narrow down the time "to two minutes or even half an hour ...... I can't be that accurate''.
Later Northern Ireland State Pathologist Professor Jack Crane told the court of finding multiple injuries on Millie including a 25 centimetre bruise from an injury to the back of her head which ultimately caused her death.
This injury he claimed had been caused "by blunt force trauma to the back of the head, possibly a wall or the floor .... most likely by the head being impacted on a hard surface," rather than a blow to her head.
The professor further claimed the injury could not be explained away simply by Millie falling backwards and hitting her head and the more realistic explanation was that she was being held "when her head was impacted on the hard surface".
Among other injuries were some to Millie's genital area, which Professor Crane claimed had resulted from a sexual assault on the infant.
In a summary to his four-hour autopsy, the State Pathologist concluded: "Death was due to a head injury which she sustained."
He added that while injuries to children were "often problematic .....in this case however, there is unequivocal evidence of a severe impact injury to the back of the head with possible further impacts to the front and right side.
"The severity of the injury was such that it is likely to have resulted in rapid loss of consciousness and therefore it seems that it must have been sustained very shortly prior to her being admitted to hospital", and given the multiplicity and location of other injuries suggested they too were non-accidental.
Professor Crane later added that Millie had "also been recently sexually assaulted" and that injuries to her groin area were "consistent with the attempted insertion of a hard object ...."
"In summary, this child died as a result of a serious head injury inflicted shortly before her admission to hospital. She had also recently been sexually assaulted ... and bruising to her abdomen and bowel were probably caused by her having been prodded or punched," he stated.
The trial continues.
Get more stories from our Roundup section
16 Apr 2014 12:20
A man was reportedly assaulted during a confrontation between a motorist and a group of cyclists on the Sligo Road in Enniskillen.
16 Apr 2014 09:00
Ulster Unionist Assembly member for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Tom Elliott MLA, and local Councillors, Robert Mulligan and Neil Somerville have met with the management of Fivemiletown Creamery to highlight their concerns over the closure of the creamery.
15 Apr 2014 22:00
A 35-year-old man has been fined £425 and banned from driving for three months after he took his wife’s car without her permission.
15 Apr 2014 19:00
Police in Fermanagh and other parts of F District are asking everyone who uses the roads to promote safety messages through social media over the next three Bank Holiday Mondays.
15 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department
In Fermanagh I don’t think there is anything that causes so much anger and frustration than the weather; specifically the abundance of rain.
15 Apr 2014 13:00
A mentally ill man who bludgeoned his elderly uncle over the head with a hammer until he thought he was dead has been committed to hospital indefinitely.
15 Apr 2014 11:30
Enjoying your chocolate egg but don't know what to do with the packaging?
15 Apr 2014 09:00
POLICE are dealing with a security alert in Fintona, County Tyrone, after an incident in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday).
14 Apr 2014 22:00
A 44-year-old businessman has been fined £500 for failing to knock down a block of apartments that pose a danger to drivers.
14 Apr 2014 19:00
Fermanagh District Council is encouraging householders to have their heating appliances, which have been well used over the winter, serviced and chimneys cleaned to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.
14 Apr 2014 16:00
A 28-year-old man involved in a fight outside a pub claimed remarks had been made about his former partner.
14 Apr 2014 13:00 • Meadhbh Monahan
Fermanagh tourism providers have to “work harder” because the county is “not the first choice destination.”
14 Apr 2014 11:00 • Brian Donaldson
The mother of a soldier serving in the First World War, had to resort to writing for financial help after her son died as result of the appalling conditions right at the end of the War in November 1918.
14 Apr 2014 09:30 • Lily Dane
An inspirational young Fermanagh woman, Rachel Wilson (formerly Byers) was only married a matter of months when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
14 Apr 2014 08:21
A 28-year-old single mother who betrayed the trust of her employer of over 11 years by stealing from his shop has been given 200 hours of community service.
13 Apr 2014 16:00 • Editorial Department
When the competition hotted up at the 37th Annual Fermanagh Bridge Congress over the weekend, bridge playing talents from the county demonstrated they ‘can hold their own.’
13 Apr 2014 14:00 • Editorial Department
THE Watermill Lodge Restaurant, Lisnaskea scooped an awards treble at the Ulster Regional Finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards this week.
13 Apr 2014 12:30 • Editorial Department
Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal was this year supported by over 12 local primary schools in the Clogher and Fermanagh areas.
13 Apr 2014 10:00 • Julie Kenwell
AN important part of Fivemiletown’s past has secured a place in the village’s future thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
12 Apr 2014 18:30 • Editorial Department
The new club season rolls into action this weekend and the 2014 league will have added significance for clubs with placings for the 2015 Championships based on how sides perform in the league this season.