Accused told detectives he wouldn't 'harm a hair' on Millie's head
The 33-year-old man accused of murdering baby Millie Martin told police he had "absolutely nothing" to do with her death, that he wouldn't "harm a hair on her head" and that he was "sick ... shocked ... and disgusted" at what happened to her.
Dungannon Crown Court heard that Barry McCarney made the claims as detectives pressed him as to how the 15-month-old toddler got the multitude of injuries found on her body following her death on December 11, 2009.
McCarney, from Woodview Crescent, Trillick, denies not only murdering Millie, but also sexually and physically abusing her, while her 27-year-old mother, Rachael Martin, from Main Street, Kesh, denies wilfully neglecting and allowing the death of her daughter.
When initially asked about the fatal blow to the back of Millie's head, McCarney replied: "I don't know how she got that injury. I know absolutely nothing about ...... I am completely disgusted and in shock that Millie has suffered something like this."
Detectives then question him about the alleged sex abuse of the infant and the bruising found around her genital area, asking him: "Is there anything you can tell us in relation to that?"
"I know absolutely nothing about that," came the reply.
Millie's various injuries: the head injury, the fractured ribs, the haemorrhaging behind both her eyes and the trauma to her genital area, were listed for McCarney before he was simply asked: "Did you cause any of these injuries?"
"No I did not cause any of those injuries," he replied, adding: "I didn't and I would not harm a hair on her head.
"I cannot express this enough, I am sick, I'm in shock, I'm disgusted by the injuries that Millie had and I've told you before and I'm telling you again, I did not harm that child in any way."
However, police in turn put it to McCarney ... "Well somebody did", to which he responded: "I'm not the only person that had access to Millie."
Earlier the court heard McCarney's claims that Millie was "completely lifeless" when he plucked her from her cot after he heard her let out a "gasp", and while he'd never performed mouth-to-mouth on anyone, he tried it on the toddled, explaining to police he was just trying to do his "best to help her .... I didn't know what to do".
He told detectives that having picked Millie up and put her in his arms, her "head was tilted .... tilted back .... her lips were blue and her face was white".
"I picked her up and as I picked her up, all the time I was shouting her name and gave her a wee shake ..... but nothing," he added.
McCarney said he began "slapping her on the back" and that was when he realised she was not breathing, before taking her downstairs and putting her on the kitchen floor.
Reading from transcripted interview notes, a detective told the jury of nine men and three women, McCarney said Millie's "legs and arms were limp" as he held her under her arms, giving her mouth-to-mouth.
"There was no response at all ....completely lifeless," McCarney told police.
He said it was the first time he had ever attempted CPR, adding later, that while he had never done a course in giving mouth-to-mouth... "I'm just trying my best to help her .... I didn't know what to do".
However, he also told police that as he gave mouth-to-mouth he thought he may have split her lip as "there was like a liquid .... a clear mucus with a trace of blood" coming from her mouth.
"Coming out of her mouth and nose ...... I could feel it all around my mouth .... and was wiping it away" on the sleeve of his top, McCarney added later.
He told police he then ran to his next door neighbour's house and "kicked the front door and shouting 'help, help, help,' ....I need to get my child to hospital".
McCarney said that as they reversed into the street, Rachael Martin, whom he had sent to buy him chocolate, drove into their driveway, but he didn't tell his neighbour to stop, but to drive on.
Millie, he said, was "lifeless, still lifeless", as they were rushed to the Erne Hospital by his neighbour, who kept asking: "what happened her ... what happened her ..... and I kept saying, I don't know, I don't know".
McCarney said as he again attempted mouth-to-mouth, his neighbour advised him "to massage her chest", which he did, because, "it was better to try something than to try nothing".
At that stage, he claimed he felt a heart beat ... "her heart beat was very strong" ... and he thought if only he could keep her going, she would be "OK" once they got her to hospital.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 24 Oct 12