Nanny in court over assault on child
A police photograph of Aisling McCarthy Brady, originally from Co Cavan, who has been charged with fatally injuring a baby in her care.
A lawyer for Irish nanny Aisling McCarthy Brady has secured an order from a Massachusetts court to preserve a wide range of evidence, including a laptop, emails and medical records, as part of her defence against assault and battery charges over the death of one-year-old British baby Rehma Sabir last month.
Middlesex County District Court judge Severlin B Singleton III granted a motion to preserve as evidence a large number of items, including the Sabir family laptop computer and all documents, emails, internet searches and the hard drive of the computer for the period since January 18th, 2012.
Prosecutors claim the 34-year-old nanny assaulted the infant who was in her care on January 14th at an apartment on Ash Street in Quincy, a suburb of Boston, causing head injuries leading to the child's death two days later.
The married Irish woman, who lives in Quincy, has denied the charges.
Prosecutors agreed to the motion on the basis that the preservation of evidence order only applied to written and recorded communications, a condition accepted by Ms McCarthy Brady’s lawyer.
The nanny attended court for the brief hearing but remained hidden from the public gallery. She stayed behind a wall in the enclosed dock in Courtroom 1 at the Middlesex District Court in Cambridge outside Boston.
The case was adjourned until March 22nd when there will be hearing on the statement of probable cause, which sets out the police case against the Irish nanny who moved to the US from Co Cavan in 2002.
After the court hearing, defence lawyer Melinda Thompson for the 34-year-old Irish nanny said that Ms McCarthy Brady was “upset”. “She’s devastated cause she didn’t do this,” said the defence lawyer.
She said that she didn’t know whether the appointment of lawyer Adrienne Lynch, who has prosecuted high-profile murder cases in Middlesex County in the past, to lead the prosecution case was a sign that the charges against Ms McCarthy Brady would be upgraded to murder. “I don’t know – I hope not,” she said.
A spokeswoman for the prosecutor, Ms Lynch, declined to comment other than to say that the District Attorney was still awaiting the findings of the autopsy report into the death of Rehma Sabir.
Prosecutors have said that the nanny could be charged with murder once the autopsy report is completed. Ms McCarthy Brady has been remanded on cash bail of $500,000.
Among the items preserved as evidence are the nanny’s mobile phone seized by police on January 16th, 2013, including details of toll records, text messages, voicemails and all other data stored on the phone.
The court has also preserved all of Rehma’s medical records since her birth, including but not limited to all of her pediatricians’ records and records of specialists including hematology and infectious disease reports.
The defence has secured the preservation of a list of the occupants and visitors who lived and stayed in the Sabir family apartment and had access to the child from October 2012 to January 14th, 2013.
The nanny’s lawyer also secured as evidence the preservation of the travel itinerary of the child from June 2012 to January 2013 including the names of the people she travelled with, where she stayed and “whether she was examined by medical personnel during her extensive travel abroad,” the motion record filed in court says.
The court has also preserved the baby’s medical and travel records, any communications between the state authorities and the investigating agencies involved in the case, and the medical staff at Children’s Hospital in Boston after the baby was injured and the US immigration and customs enforcement services.
The defence has also sought the daily journals maintained by the nanny at the Sabir home regarding the daily activities of Rehma from June 2012 to January 14th, 2013 and Mr McCarthy Brady’s timesheets.