A 33-year-old woman who caused the death of a friend’s baby on its first birthday through her careless driving, has been told she will receive substantial credit for her guilty plea, saving as it did further pain and suffering for the youngster’s parents.
Clutching a tissue, a clearly distressed Natasha Irish, formerly from Crosshill Grove, Aldergrove, in Crumlin, spoke only twice, once to confirm her name, and secondly to plead guilty to causing the death to baby Tyra Herbert on September 24 2012, by driving without due care and attention.
No details of the tragic accident were given to Antrim Crown Court, but at the time it was reported that the one-car collision happened shortly before 10am on the Dublin Road, on the outskirts of the town.
Although rushed to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, baby Tyra tragically died from her injuries, while Irish, another woman and a child were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Judge Desmond Marrinan said that the case had enough pain and suffering already and that Irish would receive substantial credit for saving the baby’s parents further suffering to them of having to sit through a trial, which would come as a relief to them.
Judge Marrinan also agreed to a defence application by junior counsel Andrew Brown, for senior counsel to be appointed before Irish comes up for sentence in May.
The judge said he was always in favour of parity between the parties in cases, and since the prosecution was headed by Jackie Orr QC, it was right that Irish should have the same advantage of senior counsel.
The judge asked for a victim impact report on baby Tyra’s parents.
A pre-sentence report is also to be prepared on Irish, who was released on continuing bail, although other reports may also be handed in to court, before her sentencing following the Easter break.