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Newstalk

11.03 24 Jun 2015


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Registered child-minder Sandra Higgins (34) of The Beeches, Drumgola Wood, Cavan town, Co Cavan has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to the baby on March 28, 2012.

Shortly after four o'clock on Wednesday afternoon Judge Patricia Ryan told the jury of eight men and four women to retire for the evening and suspend their deliberations. They have so far deliberated for four hours.

The trial has heard evidence that the child was fine on the morning and during the day of the alleged assault. Around 5pm Ms Higgins brought her to Cavan General Hospital where she presented with a brain bleed, detached retina and fractured ribs. She continued to have seizures for days.

The prosecution alleges the baby's symptoms were consistent with a violent shaking.

Doctors who treated the baby girl said it was highly likely that the injuries to the child happened while she was in the care of Ms Higgins and that the injuries were non-accidental.

Expert witnesses for the defence said the evidence was more suggestive of a head trauma and could have been the re-activation of an old injury.

The accused told Gardaí that she treated the baby as one of her own children and never assaulted her.

Judge Ryan told the jury that its verdict should not be based on sympathy for the child or her parents or for the accused. She said they must use their common sense when looking at the evidence in the case.


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