Belfast Telegraph

Prosecution case in Millie trial ends after three weeks

By Michael Donnelly

The prosecution case in the murder of toddler Millie Martin (below) has ended after 21 days of evidence and legal arguments.

The 15-month-old youngster died from severe head injuries in the early hours of December 11, 2009, after being rushed unconscious to hospital from her Glebe Park home in Enniskillen.

Defence lawyers for her alleged killer Barry McCarney and his former partner, Millie’s mother Rachael Martin, who is charged with wilfully neglecting and allowing her death, will begin to outline their case next week.

McCarney, from Trillick, denies Millie’s murder, and sexually and physically abusing the youngster.

Martin, aged 27, from Kesh, also denies the charge facing her at Dungannon Crown Court.

Since the start of the trial, the jury of nine men and three women have heard and seen details surrounding the death of Millie three months after McCarney moved in with the toddler's mum.

Trial judge Mr Justice Stephens has also heard both McCarney and Martin appear to suggest that some of Millie's injuries may have been caused by “ghosts”.

In his opening, prosecution QC Ciaran Murphy claimed that Martin had turned a blind eye to the suffering of her daughter and the sexual and physical abuse allegedly meted out to her at the hands of McCarney.

Mr Murphy said that the child's injuries “were too significant, too severe and too many” for her mum not to have noticed them and she must have “known very well that this child was being abused”.

Mr Murphy also suggested McCarney's |account of trying to revive Millie before taking her to a neighbour's house for help were “not consistent with the level of violent injury suffered by this child”.

However, the court heard that during police interviews Martin said that her life had been “wrecked” by the death of Millie and that she would have done all in her power to protect her.

“I couldn't have hurt her; I couldn't have. I couldn't have laid a finger on her, let anybody else,” she said.

Later, she added: “If I had known any of this was going on, there's just no way it would have been happening, just no way.”

In his interviews, McCarney told detectives he wanted those responsible for the toddler's death to be arrested and punished.

Protesting his innocence, he said he had “absolutely nothing” to do with her death.

“I didn’t lay a hand on Millie... I’m sickened and saddened by the death of Millie,” he said.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph