Belfast Telegraph

Girl killer's 25 years 'not enough'

A mother whose sex offender ex-boyfriend murdered her infant daughter has branded his 25-year prison term too lenient.

Co Tyrone labourer Barry McCarney was given the life sentence tariff in Belfast Crown Court for the murder of 15-month-old Millie Martin in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, in 2009.

But the toddler's mother Rachael said her former partner deserved a harsher punishment, and said: "I don't think it was long enough. Twenty five years isn't long enough."

Her mother Margaret Graham said 33-year-old McCarney, who was not the child's father, should never be freed. "It wasn't long enough - life should be life," she said.

But McCarney's father Kevin insisted he was innocent of the murder and would be appealing against the verdict.

In setting the minimum term McCarney must serve of his life sentence, Mr Justice Ben Stephens explained the sentencing framework in Northern Ireland was very different to that in England and Wales, where a whole life term could be handed down.

He said the offence was serious enough to use the upward starting point guide of 15 to 16 years.

Explaining that aggravating features, among them the vulnerability and fragility of the victim, required him to make a "substantial upward adjustment", he told McCarney he would have to serve at least 25 years.

The judge described him as a "deeply manipulative individual devoid of any regard for social norms". He added: "You perceived Millie to be yours to abuse when opportunity presented."

At an eight-week trial last year, jurors unanimously found McCarney guilty of the toddler's murder in December 2009. He was also found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent and sexual assault, and for those respective offences, Justice Stephens gave him a life sentence with a six-year minimum tariff and an indeterminate sentence with a two-year minimum. Those terms will run concurrently with his murder tariff.


From Belfast Telegraph