Irish nanny charged in US baby death case
An Irish nanny living illegally in America has been charged with violently assaulting a baby who later died, US authorities said.
Aisling McCarthy Brady, 34, from Lavey, Co Cavan but living in Quincy, Massachusetts, is alleged to have been the sole carer for the girl on January 14 – her first birthday – when she suffered injuries “consistent with abusive head trauma”, authorities said.
The baby, Rehma Sabir, died two days later in hospital after suffering brain damage.
Brady is currently being held on $500,000 (€375,000) bail after pleading not guilty to assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury.
However, further charges are anticipated following the conclusion of the final report by the Chief Medical Examiner, the district attorney’s office said on its website.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said: “This is an extremely troubling case, where 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.”
A statement on the District Attorney’s website said: “It is alleged that on January 14, the child was in the care of the defendant, her nanny.
“Through their investigation, including interviews with witnesses, police determined that the defendant had sole custody of and contact with the child during the time that she sustained injuries consistent with abusive head trauma.”
Rehma’s injuries could have happened at any time, Brady’s lawyer told the Associated Press.
Immigration authorities said Brady arrived from Ireland in 2002 and was only permitted to stay for 90 days.
A spokeswoman for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 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.”
Cambridge Police said they were called to a house in Ash Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, shortly before 5pm where they found Rehma to be unconscious, the district attorney's office said on its website.
She was taken to Boston Children’s Hospital where she was treated for bleeding to her brain and eyes.
Rehma was also found to have multiple healing bone fractures.
Two days later she was pronounced brain dead and died.
The Boston Herald has reported that Rehma’s father is from London and her mother is from Karachi, Pakistan.
Brady’s defence lawyer Melinda Thompson told the paper that the baby had travelled “all over the world” including London, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Ms Thompson added that her client did “nothing wrong” and has strong support from both former clients and those in the Irish community.
She said: “She loved that child.
“She maintains her innocence. It’s a sad case. Maybe there’s no blame to go around ... she did nothing wrong.”
(Image via Facebook/Support for Aisling McCarthy Brady)