Irish nanny returns home after murder charges dropped

THE Irish nanny wrongly accused of murdering a baby in her care has arrived back in Ireland.

Cavan-born Aisling Brady McCarthy (37) had wanted to return to Ireland after being told that her trial for the first-degree murder of one-year-old Rehma Sabir would not proceed.

Her deportation from the US was fast-tracked and she arrived in Shannnon Airport at 6.12am.

Ms Brady McCarthy, who grew up in Moher near Lavey, spent two years behind bars alongside serious offenders in Massachusetts’s notorious MCI Framingham after her January 2013 arrest. She had been on house arrest for the previous four months.

She was taken into custody just days after Rehma had fallen ill at her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on her first birthday, and died two days later at a Boston children’s hospital.

US prosecutors initially claimed that the baby had suffered from shaken baby syndrome and that the Irish woman was responsible for her fatal injuries.

However, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan this week dropped the first-degree murder charge after the medical examiner’s office changed its opinion on the cause of death.

Following a review, the medical examiner Katherine Lindstrom found that the “overall state of Rehma’s health and her past medical issues raise the possibility that she had some type of disorder that was not able to be completely diagnosed prior to her death”.

Her report said the baby had a history of bruising and that she might have been prone to easy bleeding with relatively minor trauma, adding: “Given these uncertainties, I am no longer convinced that the subdural haemorrhage in this case could only have been caused by abusive/inflicted head trauma, and I can no longer rule the manner of death as a homicide.”

Defence lawyer Melinda Thompson said her client wanted to return to Ireland as soon as possible, adding that Ms Brady McCarthy had been living “an absolute nightmare” since her arrest.

The lawyer was also highly critical of prosecutors’ handling of the case, branding it as a “disgrace”.

Following her arrest, it emerged that Ms Brady McCarthy, who married Cork-born painter Don McCarthy in 2012, had been living illegally in the US for a decade. She had been working for Rehma’s parents, businessman Sameer Sabir and financial analyst Nada Siddiqui, for six months before the girl’s death.

American authorities are now set to decide if the former nanny will be deported as an illegal alien or will be allowed to depart the US voluntarily.

Cavan councillor Val Smith yesterday said the ordeal had been “pure torture” for Ms Brady’s widowed mother Margaret and the wider family.

He said the family was “well got” and had received the full support of the community in Lavey over the past two and a half years, organising numerous fundraisers to help pay legal fees.

“We knew in Lavey that she was innocent,” Mr Smith said.

Lavey priest Fr Kevin Fay echoed Mr Smith’s comment that residents had been convinced of the local woman’s innocence, describing her as a “very good lady”.


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