Northern Ireland

Millie Martin: A life cut short

Barry McCarney has been found guilty of murdering toddler Millie Martin. BBC News looks back at the events leading up to the 15-month-old's death.

5 September 2008

Millie Martin born in Erne Hospital. Rachael Martin lives with her mother and stepfather, Margaret and Noel Graham, in Kesh having ended her relationship with Millie's father.

February 2009

Rachael Martin moves with Millie into privately rented accommodation in Glebe Park in Enniskillen.

August 2009

Rachael Martin meets Barry McCarney who is staying with her father, a distant cousin.

5 September 2009

Millie's first birthday. For the first 12 months of her life she is a healthy, normal child and routine checks by health visitors raise no concerns. At her birthday party, Barry McCarney is introduced to Rachael's mother and stepfather as her new boyfriend.

September/October 2009

A few weeks after their relationship begins, Barry McCarney moves into the house at Glebe Park.

20 October 2009

Witnesses recall seeing Millie Martin with a black, bruised ear at a funeral.

29 October 2009

Millie is seen by a GP for a chest infection. He examines Millie's ear, which is inflamed, but is not told about the injury and he says there is no bruising.

November 2009

About four weeks before her death Millie suffers 11 fractured ribs. During November, Millie suffers a bruise to the middle of her forehead. Barry McCarney suggests Millie has hit her head on the cot or the wall. The cot is moved to the centre of the room, but another large oval lump appears in the same place a few weeks later. A suggestion is made that the injuries may have been caused by "ghosts".

4 and 5 December 2009

Millie is brought to A&E at the Erne Hospital in Enniskillen with a burn on her finger. Rachael says Millie has burnt it on a candle when Barry McCarney was in the room and she was in the shower, although some witnesses say they are told the burn was caused by a hotplate or a fireguard.

9 December 2009

Millie is seen by a GP who says she should be brought back to A&E as the burn on the finger is infected. He does not see any bruising on her face or chest. Millie is in good form at the surgery, playing peek-a-boo with a nurse. Barry McCarney claims Millie is "dopey" and could hardly open her eyes. Rachael Martin says "Millie was 100%" and McCarney's account "could not be further from the truth".

10 December 2009

Millie appears to have a "bad dose of flu". She is lethargic and one eye is closing. Barry McCarney goes to work as a casual labourer but says he is sick and returns home. He offers to look after Millie saying it would be "a mortal sin" to take her out. Rachael brings Millie to her mother's house and they cry as they have never seen her so ill. Later, Rachael says Millie has picked up. She puts Millie to bed and goes out to buy a chocolate bar. Barry McCarney claims to see Millie in her cot stop breathing. When Millie arrives at the Erne Hospital she is in a "lifeless condition". Staff suspect she has also been sexually assaulted.

11 December 2009

Millie is transferred to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. Her life-support machine is turned off later that day. Barry McCarney is arrested and he tells Rachael to "trust him".

September 2010

Rachael Martin is charged with allowing her daughter's death and child cruelty.

3 October 2012

Trial starts at Dungannon Crown Court. Barry McCarney faces charges of murder, sexual assault and grievous bodily harm.

4 December 2012

McCarney sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty on all charges, including murder. Rachael Martin is found not guilty on all charges.

More on this story