Bernadette Scully ‘did not’ decide to take daughter ‘out of this world’

Doctor accused of manslaughter of disabled Emily Barut (11) says death not premeditated

Bernadette Scully (58), of Emvale, Bachelor’s Walk, Tullamore, arrives at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin this afternoon where she is charged with the manslaughter of her daughter, Emily Barut (11), in September 2012. Photograph: Collins Courts

Bernadette Scully (58), of Emvale, Bachelor’s Walk, Tullamore, arrives at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin this afternoon where she is charged with the manslaughter of her daughter, Emily Barut (11), in September 2012. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A doctor accused of the manslaughter of her profoundly disabled daughter said she did not make a conscious decision to take the 11-year-old “out of this world” when she gave her too much sedative.

Bernadette Scully (58), told gardaí she had given her child double what she would normally have given her in a 24-hour period, but said her death was not premeditated.

The GP’s interviews were read into evidence on Monday on the fifth day of her trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Ms Scully is charged with unlawfully killing Emily Barut at their home at Emvale, Bachelor’s Walk, Tullamore.

It is alleged she killed her by an act of gross negligence involving the administration of an excessive quantity of chloral hydrate on September 15th, 2012.

She has pleaded not guilty.

Insp Ger Glavin said he arrested Ms Scully and brought her to Tullamore Garda station on April 7th, 2014. She was interviewed four times that day.

Severe epilepsy

The trial has heard Emily had severe epilepsy, as well as microcephaly and cerebral palsy. She had the mental age of a six-month-old, and could not move or speak.

Ms Scully told gardaí her daughter had been in a lot of pain for the last two weeks of her life, after having a procedure to replace a tube leading to her stomach through which she received fluids and medication.

She said she had given her daughter chloral hydrate when she became upset at 2am and 6am, and had given it again when she had an “unprecedented” seizure at about 11am.

“My whole aim had been to keep her alive and keep her going,” she said.

She told gardaí she had never given that much chloral hydrate before and accepted she had given too much.

“What was I to do, stand there and watch her fit?” she asked.

She said ‘her little lips went blue’ when she gave her the final syringe.

“I’m not sure how long it took. It seemed like an eternity,” she said.

“My hands were shaking,” she said. “I took her up in my arms and she died in my arms.”

She was asked what her aim was in giving the final dose. “To stop the fit,” she said.

“Did you know deep down what the probable outcome was?” she was asked.

“I would say no, not at the time,” she replied, adding that she had been panicked.

Extreme pain

It was suggested she was as low as she had ever been that morning, that Emily was living in extreme pain, and that she had made a conscious decision to take them both out of this world.

The court has already heard that Ms Scully made two suicide attempts that day.

“I did not make any conscious decision to take Emily out of this world,” she replied.

“I did make a conscious decision after Emily died to take myself out of this world.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of seven women and five men.