A Boston judge has dismissed one of the two charges against Cavan nanny Aisling McCarthy Brady (34), although upholding the more serious, that of first-degree murder charge against her arising from the death of one-year-old baby Rehma Sabir at the start of this year.
The judgement follows an appeal from the defence on various grounds, including the belief that prosecutors violated ethical rules governing the operation of grand juries, and also the information the grand jury heard was not enough to charge the nanny with murder.
In a 30-page ruling, Presiding Middlesex Superior Court Judge Jane Haggerty saw fit to throw out the charge of assault and battery, one she said was based on the discovery during the autopsy of baby Sabir. The autopsy report showed the child had fractures that were between two weeks and two months old at the time of her death.
The prosecution had asserted the Cavan woman was the sole caretaker of the child at the time the fatal injuries were inflicted. They contend the child was healthy on the morning of January 14, but by the afternoon, when emergency services were called, baby Sabir was found to be unresponsive, with heavy breathing. Subsequent medical assessment found baby Sabir had suffered severe blunt trauma to the head, and died two days later as a result of her injuries.
Her defence attorney Melinda Thompson, has always contended that her client did not care for the child from December 7 to January 2 when the infant was travelling with her family overseas.
Judge Haggerty ruled: “Since these injuries cannot be dated, there is no evidence indicating that these vertebrae fractures were inflicted while Rehma was under the sole care and custody of the defendant on Jan. 14, 2012”.
To the request from Mrs McCarthy Brady’s defence for the charge of first-degree murder also to be dismissed - while agreeing the presentation from the prosecution to the grand jury was “far from perfect”, she denied the request to throw the case out and upheld the charge.
“The court recognises that this grand jury proceeding was far from perfect and the prosecutor, at times, failed to limit or strike improper evidence from the record,” Haggerty wrote.
“However, after reviewing the totality of the grand jury record, it is clear that the prosecutor’s missteps were not intentional and that his presentation of the evidence was generally fair and balanced.”
Earlier last week the Irish nanny sobbed as she pleaded for bail. Mrs McCarthy Brady, who was living illegally in the US at the time the incident occurred pleaded not guilty to the murder charge in April, and at all relevant opportunities since then.
Lawyers for the Cavan woman last week continued to highlight to the court, despite judicial ruling, that prosecutors have still failed to turn over critical evidence they need to defend her against the murder charge.
They also say the case against Mrs McCarthy Brady is much weaker than prosecutors claimed after she was arrested.
Mrs McCarthy Brady is due to stand trial on the charge of murder against her in April 2014.
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