Irish nanny accused of Mass. baby beating in court
Friday, February 22, 2013
MEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — A lawyer for an Irish nanny charged with beating an infant who later died won a request Friday to preserve evidence in the case, including the baby’s travel records and a list of people who had access to her.
Aisling McCarthy Brady, 34, made a brief appearance Friday in Cambridge District Court as her lawyer asked a judge to preserve an extensive list of potential evidence in the case.
Brady is accused of assault and battery in the beating of Rehma Sabir last month. The girl was hospitalized with severe head injuries on Jan. 14, her first birthday. She died two days later.
Prosecutors allege Brady was the only person with the child when she received her injuries.
Brady’s lawyer, Melinda Thompson, asked authorities to preserve all records related to the baby’s travel from June 2012 until her death, including who she traveled with, where she stayed and whether she was examined by medical personnel during any trips.
Thompson said last month that the baby had traveled overseas — including trips to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and London — and was malnourished when she returned to the United States.
The defense also asked for a list of all occupants and visitors to the Cambridge apartment where Rehma lived with her parents, as well as all Internet searches, email correspondence and the hard drive from the family’s laptop computer.
Brady is “devastated because she didn’t do this,” Thompson told reporters outside court.
Authorities have said Brady could be charged with murder once an autopsy is complete. A spokeswoman for District Attorney Gerry Leone said Friday that prosecutors are still waiting for the autopsy results.
In court documents, state police said a pillow, blanket and baby wipes stained with blood were found in the baby’s bedroom. Police also said an upstairs neighbor told police that on the day the baby was taken to the hospital, she heard the girl crying for almost an hour before the sound changed to “extreme crying.” The woman said her knocks on the door went unanswered.
Dr. Alice Newton, medical director of the Child Protection Team at Boston Children’s Hospital, diagnosed Rehma as a victim of abusive head trauma, according to a police report.
The baby’s parents, Nada Siddiqui and Sameer Sabir, told police Aisling had been their nanny for about six months, caring for the baby while they worked.
Immigration officials have said Brady, of Quincy, had been living in the United States illegally since 2002, when she arrived from Ireland under a tourist program. She was only authorized to stay 90 days.
Assistant District Attorney Adrienne Lynch, a top prosecutor who has handled many high-profile murder cases for Leone’s office, has been assigned to the case, along with Assistant District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
Among the defendants Lynch has prosecuted are: Michael Bizanowicz, convicted in the murder of a Woburn woman and her 12-year-old daughter; Thomas Mortimer IV, of Winchester, who pleaded guilty to killing his wife, two young children and mother-in-law; and Alexander Pring-Wilson, a Harvard graduate student convicted of manslaughter in the death of a Cambridge man during a street fight.
Brady, who is being held on $500,000 bail, is due back in court March 22 for a probable cause hearing.
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