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Nanny ‘may have abused baby for weeks’

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AP

The apartment building where Rehma Sabir lived in Cambridge, is seen on January 23, 2013.

London - The British baby allegedly battered to death by her nanny may have been abused for many weeks, it emerged on Thursday.

Tests on Rehma Sabir’s body showed up injuries that were still healing when she died in an American hospital on her first birthday.

Aisling McCarthy Brady, the child’s 34-year-old Irish carer, has denied violently assaulting her two days earlier.

Rehma’s parents - entrepreneur Sameer Sabir and his wife Nada Siddiqui - were on Thursday said to be in “unimaginable pain” at their home in Boston, Massachusetts.

Brady was charged by district attorney Gerry Leone, who oversaw the murder prosecution of British au pair Louise Woodward in 1997.

The nanny, who has a history of violence and was living in the US illegally, could also face a murder charge once the results of a post-mortem examination are known.

Prosecutors say Rehma suffered a violent assault that left spinal injuries “consistent with the slamming of a child”. She was taken to hospital with multiple fractures, bleeding behind her eyes and swelling on her brain, dying two days later.

New court documents gave chilling details about the alleged crime, which left bloodstains all over Rehma’s bedclothes.

According to police, a dent in her bedroom wall suggested it had been “damaged by forceful contact with the corner of the changing table”.

The prosecutor’s statement details scans showing up long bone fractures on the baby’s left forearm and left leg, along with compression fractures on her spine.

The report says: “The fractures appeared to be two weeks to two months old on initial impression”.

Mr Sabir’s parents were visiting from his childhood home in Thornton Heath, Surrey, on January 14 when Rehma allegedly suffered the injuries in the sole care of Brady.

They and other relatives from Britain are comforting the 34-year-old and his 29-year-old wife, who is an investment banker.

Mr Sabir worked in London for JP Morgan and Commerzbank Securities before moving to the US in 2006 and enrolling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He later set up - and then sold to a rival - a company specialising in a pioneering skin graft technique.

In a statement, the Middlesex District Attorney said the family needed “time and space to properly grieve”. It added: “The family of this child is going through unimaginable pain and suffering and their well-being remains a priority for us.

“Very few can fully understand the sorrow and pain that they are enduring, and we all need to allow them the appropriate time and support they require to cope with this tragedy.” A former South London neighbour of the family said on Thursday night: “Rehma was the first and only grandchild. We are all so shocked. We cannot understand how this has happened.” The newly-released court documents give Brady’s version of events for the first time.

She says she arrived at Mr Sabir’s apartment at 7.50am on January 14 and that Rehma woke up at 8.15am and was “cranky as usual”.

Mrs Siddiqui appears to have left for work at 9.30am and Rehma slept until 1pm and lunch, which was a few spoonfuls of potatoes, eggs and some baby formula. Brady describes Rehma as a “fussy eater who sometimes held food in her mouth for up to an hour” so she stepped out for a moment and came back to find her “slouched” in her high chair with her eyes half open.

She put her down for a nap and woke her up at 4.15pm when she was having an apparent seizure.

Even though Rehma’s fists were clenched and her limbs were stiff she seemed limp, Brady told police, so she called the emergency services and went with her to the hospital. It is during the “nap” that investigators say Brady inflicted the “abusive” injuries.

On Thursday night it also emerged Brady was in charge of a second child that day as part of a nanny share. The seven-month-old boy was dropped off at around 12.30pm and Brady told his parent that Rehma was sleeping. He was unharmed.

Brady entered the US in 2002 on a 90-day tourist visa and has been living there illegally ever since.

She has had two restraining orders taken out against, the second of which was in March 2012. She has also been accused of assaulting a woman in 2007.

Despite this she is said to have turned her life around after meeting decorator Don McCarthy, 38, an Irishman from Coachford, Co Cork, who had relocated to the US.

The pair married in a church in Dorchester, a suburb of Boston, last September.

Friends of Brady, who is originally from Lavey, just outside Cavan in County Cavan, have begun rallying to support her and have set up a Facebook page.

She was defended last night by David Furey, an ex-lover she split from in acrimonious circumstances.

He told the US media: “She always took care of kids. She was always good with kids. She always played with them, danced along with them - she was a bit of a bigger kid herself.

“She just didn’t grow up. Her bosses always loved her. She worked every day. She loved kids.

“I was very shocked to hear that on the news. I do believe that she’s innocent but will have a tough time proving it because of her bit of history.”

Mr Furey added: “I heard she got married and was doing good.”

Disturbing details emerged on Thursday night of the violent past of Aisling McCarthy Brady. During a ten-year illegal stay in the US, the Irish nanny has had two restraining orders placed against her.

She was also arrested over a violent brawl in which she allegedly bit her female flatmate. Her neighbours said the 34-year-old had a terrible temper.

“She’s miserable, angry, and would like go off the hinges like at a moment’s notice - just over nothing,” said one. He said McCarthy Brady had been “in his face”, swearing and shouting abuse, several times. “There is no talking once she goes off the edge,” he added.

The Boston Herald, the newspaper in the city where she is accused, described her as “a brawling, beer bottle-tossing Irish illegal alien with a history of run-ins with the law.” The nanny’s former boyfriend David Furey took out a restraining order against her in 2005 after she subjected him to a four-year hate campaign following their split.

Furey, who lives in Dorchester - a Boston neighbourhood popular with Irish immigrants - said the nanny had threatened to make his life a “living hell”. In court papers, he wrote: “Every female I talk to, gay or straight, gets abuse from Aisling.”

Two years later, in February 2007, McCarthy Brady was arrested for assault and battery after getting into a fight with her flatmate following a night of drinking.

Last March a fellow Irishwoman took out a restraining order against her citing harassment and malice.- Daily Mail


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