THE mother of Rachael Martin, who faces charges arising out of the death of her own daughter Millie, said that she had “no reason to disbelieve her”.
Margaret Graham was giving evidence at the Dungannon Crown Court trial on Wednesday of her 27-year-old daughter and her daughter’s 33-year-old former lover Barry Michael McCarney.
Martin, of Main Street, Kesh, is accused of wilfully neglecting and allowing the death of her 15-month-old daughter Millie, while McCarney, of Woodview Crescent, Trillick, denies murdering and sexually and physically abusing her.
An A&E doctor at the Erne Hospital later claimed Martin “seemed open and helpful throughout” concerning baby Millie and had “absolutely no objection” to any treatment suggested for the youngster.
However, when Mrs Graham voiced her support for her daughter, prosecution QC Ciaran Murphy said she should confine her answers to the evidence and refrain from commenting.
Later, the grandmother agreed with McCarney’s defence QC Elis McDermott when she told police that when she saw a bump on baby Millie’s head she thought the youngster may have fallen downstairs and that her daughter had hidden the fact in case she got “cross”.
But Mrs Graham said that while her daughter would have confessed to her “eventually”, she would not have told her initially, as she would have given off to her daughter by asking her “why did you let that happen?”
Mrs Graham began her evidence by detailing bruising and bumps she allegedly found on her granddaughter in the months leading up to her death on December 11, 2009.
However, the grandmother told the jury of nine men and three women that she did not have any concerns, because baby Millie, like her mother and other toddlers, was a clumsy child.
Mrs Graham said that while baby Millie stayed with them at the end of November 2009, she had noticed a bump to the child’s head and that her daughter told her “she didn’t know how this was happening, but Barry said she must have hit her head off the cot”.
“I said she is bound to have cried... she would have cried with a bump like that,” said Mrs Graham, who added her daughter “didn’t say anything about that”. She went on to say: “I had no reason to disbelieve her.”