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Cavan nanny in custody over US toddler death

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2013 8:23am

Story by Tom Kelly
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Cavan nanny in custody over US toddler death

A Cavan nanny has been charged in connection with the death of a baby girl in her care over in Boston.

Thirty-four-year-old Aisling McCarthy Brady from a family-of-nine and native of Moher, near Lavey, had been living in the US for more than a decade. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency have said though that McCarthy Brady had overstayed her 90-day authorisation to stay in the US after entering the country in 2002.

A listing on Care.com describes an 'Aisling B.' in Quincy, 34, as 'an Irish Girl One of Ten Kids' with "10-plus years of experience" and looking for "full-time, but not live-in, work".

The profile also lists her as 'comfortable as a nanny for four-plus children' of up to six years old, experienced as a nanny for twins and multiples, but not experienced as a nanny for children with special needs.

She had recently married in the US to her partner Donald McCarthy from Cork.

Ms McCarthy Brady appeared before Cambridge District Court in Quincy on a charge of assault and battery of the one-year-old girl, named as Rehma Sabir, who died last week, a charge to which McCarthy Brady has pleaded not guilty to.

According to prosecutors the child suffered "massive brain swelling" as a result of being assaulted on her first birthday on January 14 last. It had been reported that that Cambridge police went to an Ash Street address on the afternoon of January 14 where they found the baby girl unresponsive, breathing but unconscious. She died at the city's Children's hospital two days later.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone is reported as saying "we allege the defendant violently assaulted a one-year-old child, causing a devastating head injury and broken bones.

"Children are our most vulnerable victims and where, as here, the offender has been entrusted with the care of a child who depends on them, the allegations are all the more egregious."

The DA's office said she also had numerous bone fractures that were in the process of healing and at the time the infant was in the sole care of the nanny during the time when she apparently sustained injuries that prosecutors say are 'consistent with abusive head trauma'.

In court yesterday (Tuesday) Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Katherine Folger outlined the prosecution's version of the events, saying on the day of January 14, the infant, who she described as a "healthy, normal, well-baby", woke at approximately 8am and was cared for by her mother and the nanny.

The mother left the home at around 9.30am, leaving the infant in the sole care of the Irish nanny, and at 4.42pm McCarthy Brady called for medical help.

However, lawyers for the 34-year-old Irish woman say the child did not die at the hands of the Cavan woman.

She said the child had been traveling overseas in recent weeks, which included stops in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. "Who knows what could have happened?" Miss Thompson said.

Miss Thompson added that when the child returned to the United States she was suffering from malnutrition, "there is more to the story than you've heard."

"This is an unspeakable tragedy...[but] Ms McCarthy [Brady] has no idea what happened to this child."

Ms McCarthy Brady was released on a $500,000 bail, however the charges facing the Cavan nanny are expected to be upgraded to murder. She was ordered to surrender her passport.

Local Fianna Fail County Councillor Fergal Curtin, a neighbour of the family has said the Brady family are well-known, "popular and decent".

He said his thoughts are with them at this time, and that he was prepared to give any assistance to them at this time.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs has also said, "we are aware of the case and have been in contact with the family, "we are ready to provide any consular assistance if it is needed."

McCarthy Brady is due to appear again in court on February 22.

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