Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Millie Martin murder: Mother's partner appears in court

Barry Michael McCarney
Barry McCarney is accused of murdering Millie (Picture Impartial Reporter)

A man has been in court charged with the murder of 15-month-old Millie Martin in Enniskillen.

Barry Michael McCarney, 30, who had been living at Glebe Park in Enniskillen, appeared at Omagh Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

He is the partner of Millie's mother and the court heard he denied having anything to do with the girl's death.

The court also heard that Millie may have been sexually assaulted sometime before she died.

That allegation was made by medical staff at the Erne hospital in Enniskillen where Millie was taken on Thursday.

Det Insp John Caldwell told the court that police had been contacted by staff at the hospital after Millie was admitted in "a lifeless condition".

The court was also told that Millie's mother Rachel was not in the house when the child was injured as she had gone out to get takeaway food.

Mr McCarney's solicitor said his client had given a "detailed account" to police during four days of questioning.

During the 20-minute hearing, Det Insp Caldwell outlined to the court the events that had led up to Mr McCarney taking Millie to hospital.

Millie Martin died after being attacked in a house in Enniskillen
Millie Martin died after being injured at a house in Enniskillen

He said Rachel Martin had gone out around 2000 GMT leaving the accused to mind her daughter.

She returned within half an hour to find that her partner had left for hospital with Millie.

"The child was OK at 8pm and around 20 minutes later the child was taken to hospital in such a lifeless condition," said the police officer.

There had been no-one else in the house during this period, he added.

Det Insp Caldwell also said that Mr McCarney had been left to look after Millie the previous night.

On that occasion, her mother had gone to a Chinese takeaway.

On arrival she found it was closed and rang Mr McCarney to tell him, but he didn't answer.

While he later told his partner he had been at the toilet when she called, under police interview he said he had been out collecting sticks for the fire.

'Agitated'

Det Insp Caldwell said the next morning - Thursday - Millie's mother noted that she was lethargic and that one of her eyes appeared to be closing over.

Mr McCarney was taken into court under a blanket

Mr McCarney left to go to work but returned less than three hours later after complaining of feeling sick.

The detective said colleagues who encountered him in the morning said he appeared agitated.

Mr Caldwell said the defendant had volunteered to look after Millie again when her mother went to the chip shop that evening.

"Despite being so unwell and unable to work he volunteered to look after a sick child," he told the magistrate.

Mr McCarney's lawyer put it to the officer that police had no scientific evidence as to when the injuries that killed Millie were inflicted.

Mr Caldwell agreed but added: "Further tests will be carried out to establish such dates."

Mr McCarney was remanded in custody.



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