Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Bloodstains 'found in baby's room'

Irish nanny Aisling McCarthy Brady denies assaulting a one-year-old girl who subsequently died (AP)

A blood-stained pillow, blanket and baby wipes were found in the bedroom of a one-year-old child who died after her Irish nanny allegedly assaulted her, according to United States court records.

Aisling McCarthy Brady, from Lavey in Co Cavan, has been remanded in custody charged with violently assaulting Rehma Sabir on her first birthday, at the baby's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Rehma died two days later in hospital on January 16 after suffering brain damage.

The 34-year-old nanny, who has been living in the US illegally since 2002, was warned in court that she could be charged with murder depending on the chief medical examiner's report.

Court documents filed on Tuesday described how a concerned neighbour heard the infant crying for almost an hour before it changed to "extreme crying", the Associated Press reported. The woman said she knocked on the front door of the apartment for about 90 seconds, timing the knocks in between the baby's gasping so it would be heard by someone inside, but they were not answered.

Police said: "(The crying) started to slow and settle down before stopping completely." Officers who searched the girl's room found a bloody blanket and pillow in the crib and discarded blood-stained baby wipes.

Dr Alice Newton, medical director of the Child Protection Team at Boston Children's Hospital, diagnosed Rehma as a victim of abusive head trauma, according to the court documents. She said: "Abusive head trauma includes injuries caused by violent shaking as well as impact to the head either by directly striking the head or causing the head to strike another object or surface."

It is understood the nanny was married in Massachusetts last year to Donald McCarthy, a painter originally from Cork. Brady was employed as a nanny for the last six months by entrepreneur Sameer Sabir, the baby's father and his wife Nada Siddiqui, who is originally from Karachi, Pakistan. The couple moved from London to the US.

Investigators who interviewed Brady said she told them the baby seemed "her usual self" on the morning of the alleged assault. In the afternoon she put Rehma in her crib, believing she was tired, but three hours later returned to find her "clenching her fists and her arms and legs were stiff". Around that time Ms Siddiqui returned home and called police.

Brady's lawyer, Melinda Thompson, has said her client had no role in the baby's death. She said the nanny of 18 years would "never hurt a child".

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