Belfast Telegraph

Two years after Millie’s murder, her mother and ex-partner face court over death

By Michael Donnelly

As the second anniversary of the death of Fermanagh baby Millie Martin approaches this weekend, her mother Rachael and her former boyfriend appeared in court to face charges arising out of her murder.

Barry McCarney (32) was formally arraigned before Omagh Crown Court sittting in Belfast, accused of murdering the 15-month-old youngster on December 11, 2009.

McCarney, originally from Trillick in Co Tyrone, denied the murder and also sexually penetrating the youngster with his “body |or anything else”, and unlawfully and maliciously causing baby Millie grievous bodily harm with intent to do her grievous bodily harm.

Her 27-year-old mother, now with an address in Main Street, Kesh, who gave birth to a baby son in April, denied allowing the death of Millie by failing to prevent it, and causing her cruelty by wilfully neglecting her “in a manner likely to cause her unnecessary suffering or injury to her health”.

A date for their trial, in Dungannon courthouse, has been provisionally fixed for after Easter next year, although, if arrangements can be made, it could take place as early as February.

No details surrounding the death of Millie were given to the court, but an earlier hearing heard that Rachael Martin had left the Glebe Park address in Enniskillen they all shared, to get McCarney a bar of chocolate from a shop 200 yards away. When she returned a “matter of minutes” later her daughter and partner were gone.

Millie had taken “a turn for the worse” and McCarney rushed her to the Erne Hospital where she was found not to be breathing and described as being in a “lifeless state”.

A post mortem by Northern Ireland State Pathologist Professor Jack Crane, revealed she died from a massive injury to the back of her head. Professor Crane also found that she had suffered fractures to her ribs “at different times” and had allegedly received a hard blow to the stomach several days prior to her death.

There were also injuries to her genitals.

During his 21 interviews, over four days, McCarney told police that as Millie’s mother drove out of the driveway, he'd gone upstairs to the toilet and saw Millie in her room.

He said he saw her lying in her cot and taking a “big gasp of air” and when he went over to take a closer look she was not breathing.

To mark the anniversary of the tot’s death, her grandmother Margaret Graham has asked people to light a candle in her memory this coming Sunday.

Mrs Graham said the family still miss their “adorable wee dote” very deeply. “They say time heals, but I don’t know about that.

“We all miss our wee Millie more and more as time goes by; wondering what she would be like now, what she would be saying, even what she’d want from Santa this year, but we had that cruelly taken from us and this Sunday is a reminder of the awful time we went through two years ago.”

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