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US prosecutors drop murder case against Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy, accused of killing baby in her care

Published 01/09/2015

Aisling Brady McCarthy (The Boston Globe/AP)
Aisling Brady McCarthy (The Boston Globe/AP)

The two-and-a-half year long case against an Irish nanny accused of killing a child in her care has been dramatically dropped by US prosecutors.

Aisling Brady McCarthy, from Co Cavan, was charged with the murder of one-year-old baby Rehma Sabir at the child's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2013.

She had resolutely denied any wrongdoing throughout the case and had been released from prison on bail in May, but remained under house arrest.

Ms Brady McCarthy's legal team were already due to request the case be thrown out at a hearing scheduled this week.

But last night the District Attorney's office in Middlesex announced it had filed an order to drop the charges.

It came after medical examiners said they could no longer rule the manner of death was homicide.

"Based on an assessment of the present state of the evidence, including the amended ruling from the Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy, the Commonwealth cannot meet its burden of proof," District Attorney Marian Ryan said.

Ms Brady McCarthy's legal team said their client's life had been "ruined" by something that never even happened.

"Miss McCarthy was put in jail for two years over a crime that never occurred," lawyer Melinda Thompson.

"Not just a crime that she did not commit, but a crime that did not occur. The life of an innocent woman was ruined."

She said her client wants to return home to Ireland as soon as possible.

Friends of the nanny's family, in the small village of Lavey, also welcomed the news.

"This is unbelievable. She has been in jail for more than two year now and really she should not have been there at all," Councillor Val Smith told the Irish Independent.

"It is tremendous for her mother Margaret because she has been worried sick."

The developments were also welcomed by local TD Joe O'Reilly said he was hopeful she could now "rebuild her life".

She is expected to now be deported from the US, where she had been working illegally since 2002.

The case against the 37-year-old nanny centred on the evidence of a US medical examiner who performed an autopsy.

Her legal team had challenged the charges and sought their own experts. Medical examiners then reopened investigations into the cause of death.

Last week, they ordered the cause of death be changed after reviewing additional material and considering the baby's previous medical conditions.

"Given these uncertainties, I am no longer convinced that the subdural haemorrhage in this case could only have been caused by abusive/inflicted head trauma, and I can no longer rule the manner of death as a homicide," the medical examiner said.

Sam Griffin and Wayne O'Connor, Irish Independent

Irish Independent

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