'Ghosts' did not injure Millie

Published: 18 Oct 2012 17:35

Murdered toddler Millie Martin was not the victim of "ghosts" as her mother once allegedly "joked", but "the subject of repeated and severe" attacks by a real person or persons, a top paediatrician told Dungannon Crown Court today (Thursday).

Rachael Martin and inset Barry McCarney.

The English designated child protection consultant paediatrician, Dr. Katherine Ward, said she'd reached that conclusion "having considered the investigation, witness statements and medical reports" into the death of 15-month-old Millie from head injuries on December 11, 2009.

Millie's 27-year-old mother, Rachael Martin, from Main Street, Kesh, and her former lover, 33-year-old Barry McCarney, from Woodview Crescent, Trillick, face charges arising out of her death.

Martin denies wilfully neglecting and allowing the death of her daughter, while McCarney denies murdering and sexually and physically abusing her.

The jury of nine men and three women heard that Rachael Martin had once joked that ghosts may have been responsible for the repeated injuries to her baby daughter.

However, Martin's mother Mrs. Margaret Graham claimed, the remark had been made only as "a figure of speech".

Mrs. Graham was being cross-examined for a second day by McCarney's defence QC Elis McDermott, whose final question to the grandmother was, if she had heard her daughter "Rachael say that ghosts may have caused these injuries to Millie".

While agreeing that "there was jokes", she quickly explained that, "in a figure of speech, Rachael joked to me that may well be the case".

However, Dr. Ward was unequivocal in her opinion as to what had happened to Millie, who, in her words, had had "a very uneventful medical history and was being attended to appropriately ..... up until September 2009".

The court has already heard it was around this time, her first birthday, that she was first allegedly injured.

Dr. Ward told the court that "having considered the investigation, witness statements, and medical reports, I concluded that there is clear evidence that Millie was the subject of repeated and severe inflicted injury, which led to multiple injuries, including a fatal head injury".

During her evidence she claimed that many of the multiple sites of injury to Millie, were indicative to her, of non-accidental injuries.

With regard to the head injury which eventually lead to Millie's death, Dr. Ward said that the large bruising it left, would have been "associated with a memorable event, which would not have gone unnoticed", and that there was nothing to suggest in the child's history it was non-accidental.

The paediatrician added: "In my opinion this was the result of a blow from behind" and may have been caused by a "forceful blow to the child's head by a moving object, or the moving head hitting or coming into impact with an object".

However, the doctor admitted that forensically it was "difficult" to say which had indeed caused the fatal injury.

Earlier Ms McDermott had questioned Mrs. Graham about alleged discrepancies between what she'd said in evidence to the court and to police, and what she told a social worker.

Initially Mrs. Graham claimed she had "no recollection" of any meetings following Millie's death, and asked of Ms McDermott: "When was this?"

She later added: "I can't recall speaking to the Social Services to be honest with you."

However, after being shown some "documentation", Ms McDermott suggested there had been two separate meetings with social workers "about the events leading up to Millie's death".

Mrs. Graham seemed to remember something, while claiming that the meetings were not about "Millie though", and added that she did not really "remember much about it to be honest".

Ms McDermott then put it to her, she had told a social worker she did not "observe any injuries on Millie's body and you had no concerns about her presentation or her behaviour" the November weekend she'd looked after Millie.

Partially accepting the suggestion, she also accepted telling police and the court she had seen bruising on the infant, and that she was concerned for her granddaughter that weekend.

Mrs. Graham also agreed that when she asked her daughter, Rachael, about the bruising, she got "annoyed" telling her mother "do you think I did it?" before "leaving the room".

She also told a social worker she had not wanted to further annoy Rachael, so had said nothing about marks to Millie's private parts.

However, Mrs. Graham explained Rachael's reaction in terms of any normal "mother - daughter relationship" and while she may have been "stroppy" with her, she could not say how she would have reacted with others outside.

Later under cross-examination by her daughter's QC John McCrudden, Mrs. Graham described her daughter as an "excellent ... caring" mum who often "sought her advice".

She also told the lawyer that it "never crossed her mind" that Millie had fractured ribs, and also agreed she'd said to another social worker that she "never thought in my heart of hearts that he (McCarney) would have hurt her".

Mrs. Graham told Mr. McCrudden that her daughter never tried to "disguise by make-up" nor had she attempted to hide anything about Millie and was always open with her.

The case continues.

Jump to first paragraph.

Get more stories from our Roundup section

20 Apr 2014 09:00 • Editorial Department

‘End of an era’ for Leslie and McCrea family

Tempo Primary’s long serving caretaker - whose family has a long connection with the Fermanagh school - was paid a warm tribute at the start of the school’s Easter Holidays.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 21:00 • Brian Donaldson

First election nominations made at Townhall

The countdown to the first election for seats on the new Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on May 22 has begun with the first candidates nominating at Enniskillen Townhall this week.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 17:10

Mallards gain another crucial point in safety battle

Ballinamallard took another step closer to safety as they claimed a share of the spoils at home to Ballymena today.

Social:

19 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Leading anti-fracker believes local protesters are on the right track

Founder of Frack Free Sussex and Britain and Ireland Frack Free, Vanessa Vine visited Enniskillen last Saturday to discuss the local anti-fracking campaign.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Road rage car chase for boxing champ who turned away from possible fight

A boxing champion shied away from a fight with a man over twice his age only to become embroiled in a road rage incident.

Social:

19 Apr 2014 11:00 • Editorial Department

Milk suppliers assured that Society is debt free

The forty-eight former Fivemiletown milk suppliers have been assured that Fivemiletown and Brookeborough Co-operative and Agricultural Dairy Society (the Society) is debt free and that they will “continue to be paid”.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 09:00 • Rodney Edwards

Elliott votes against bill on powers for new Super Councils

ULSTER Unionist MLA Tom Elliott has joined his party colleagues in voting against the Local Government Bill, the legislation that sets out the powers of the new Super Councils. Mr. Elliott spoke of his concern around community planning ahead of the amalgamation which will see 26 Councils merge into 11, including the amalgamation of Fermanagh District Council and Omagh District Council

Social:

19 Apr 2014 08:30

Police name motorcyclist killed in Fivemiletown crash

Police can confirm that a male motorcyclist has died following a two vehicle road traffic collision on the Belfast Road in Fivemiletown last night, Friday 18 April.

Social:

18 Apr 2014 22:00 • Rodney Edwards

Orange audit: 93 per cent believe Catholics ‘suspicious’ of order

A MAJOR survey into the Orange Order in Fermanagh has found that 92.8 per cent of people who took part in the project believe Catholics are “suspicious” of the organisation.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 19:00

'We have a big eight days ahead of us' - Anderson

By 5pm on Saturday April 26 all the decisions will be made in the Danske Bank Premiership and Championship One. The destination of the title will be decided and who is going down or which teams are facing a play off will be known.

Social:

18 Apr 2014 17:00 • Rodney Edwards

Enterprise Minister disagrees with keeping Aventas Group all locally owned

ENTERPRISE Minister Arlene Foster says she cannot support the view of local political representatives, including her DUP colleague Maurice Morrow, that the Aventas Group in Derrylin must remain exclusively locally owned.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Tweets of the Week - did you make it?

Charlie Lawson @charlie_lawson1 I’m reliably informed that my alter ego and constant companion is to return, so he is. Must contact The Home Secretary to confirm.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

Foster vows to take school merger to the Assembly

“I am not powerless, I will fight this,” declares Stormont Minister Arlene Foster as she reflects on the fall-out over the proposal by the Western Education and Library Board to amalgamate Portora Royal School with Collegiate Grammar School.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 11:00 • Lily Dane

Those were the days: Miss Derryclavin Selected

This image “Miss Derryclavin” Selected was featured in The Impartial Reporter on April 16, 1964.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 08:30

Depression is an illness, mourners told at Kenny Andrews funeral

MOURNERS at the funeral of Brookeborough man Kenneth Andrews who died unexpectedly last week were told that the 47-year-old had been fighting a private battle with depression.

Social:

17 Apr 2014 19:00 • Rodney Edwards

#fermanaghspake This Week is...

‘I’m not half well’

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 18:06 • Rodney Edwards

Would-be Unionist politician admits Catholic Facebook question was 'badly worded'

A would-be politician seeking a seat in the new Fermanagh and Omagh Council for the Ulster Unionist Party has defended himself for a second time following comments he made on Facebook.

Social:

17 Apr 2014 17:01

Fermanagh's 'different breed' that sets the Orange Standard

Let me get the amateur sociology out of the way first: ‘Out-group homogeneity’. It describes a bias that any group of people are prone to have.

Social:

17 Apr 2014 16:30

Why are you 'punishing a good school'?

The proposed Development Proposal to close both Enniskillen Collegiate School and Portora Royal School and open a new school on a split site, will go before the members of the Western Education and Library Board on May 8 for approval.

Social:

17 Apr 2014 15:57

Meeting exposed WELB's 'weak process and weak argument' says Collegiate head

THE Collegiate Grammar School’s consultation meeting on its proposed amalgamation with Portora Royal exposed the Western Education Library Board’s (WELB) “weak process and weak argument”, according to principal, Elizabeth Armstrong.

Social: