A Tyrone man has been sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison for the brutal killing of his former partner’s 15-month old daughter.
The BBC reports that last month Barry McCarney (33) from Co. Tyrone was found guilty of the murder of Millie Martin in Enniskillen in December 2009. He was also found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent and sexual assault.
Imposing the sentence, Mr Justice Ben Stephens described the accused as a “deeply manipulative man” who had carried out a “sadistic sexual assault” on the child.
“You perceived Millie to be yours to abuse when opportunity presented,” he said.
The court heard graphic details during the ten week trial about the injuries the 1-year-old had sustained, among them were 21 cracked ribs, seven of which were old injuries. The injuries were caused by punching or prodding, not only in the weeks, but possibly the months following her death.
The baby had multiple bruises including a lump on her forehead which was clearly visible in the weeks leading up to her death.
The court heard how on the night the toddler sustained fatal injuries, McCarney had persuaded his partner to go to the store to fetch him a chocolate bar. McCarney then struck the toddler’s head against a hard surface when she cried, delivering a fatal blow which would ultimately kill her.
CCTV footage showed the moment McCarney rushed the toddler into Accident and Emergency at Erne Hospital. She died the following day.
The infant was also subjected to a sexual assault, by way of a possible punch to her genital area, the court heard.
Speaking outside the court, the infant’s mother said McCarney deserved as tougher punishment.
“I don’t think it was long enough,” Martin said. “Twenty five years isn’t long enough.”
“It wasn’t long enough - life should be life,” she said. “He should never see the light of day again. We won’t ever see Millie, her mummy won’t ever see her wee daughter and life should mean life.”
Martin was acquitted of charges of allowing her daughter's death and of cruelty.
McCarney’s father, Kevin, insisted his son was innocent and that they intend on appealing against the verdict.
“We will be appealing the case and we know he will be proved innocent,” he said.
Once the 25-years are served, McCarney can only be released on licence if parole officers deem he no longer presents a danger to the public.
McCarney, who had 19 previous convictions, was ordered to sign the sex offenders register.
Watch the UTV report below: