Childminder, 19, appears in court charged with breaking arm of one year baby niece

By Gordon Deegan

A 19-year old Lativan child-minder appeared in court on Wednesday in connection with breaking the arm of her one year old baby niece.

At Ennis District Court, the teen was accompanied to court by the baby’s mother who is also the accused’s sister.

In the case, Judge Patrick Durcan declined jurisdiction and transferred the case to Ennis Circuit Court where more serious penalties apply for assault causing harm charges.

Those convicted of such assaults in the district court can be jailed for up to 12 months and this increases to five years in the circuit court.

Judge Durcan said that the alleged injury that the baby sustained was "very serious”.

In declining jurisdiction, Judge Durcan also stated that he was taking into account the age of the alleged injured party.

Giving an outline of the facts in the case, Insp Tom Kennedy said: “This is an unusual situation to say the least.”

The investigating detective in the case, Det Garda Claire O’Shaughnessy of Ennis Garda Station told the court that the baby turned one a day after she was admitted to hospital on May 24th last.

Det O’Shaughnessy said: “The baby was admitted to hospital with a spiral fracture to her upper right arm.”

In the case, the teen is charged with on May 21st the Section 3 assault causing harm of the baby who was born in May 2017.

Det O’Shaughnessy said: “It was an unexplained injury and it was referred to us by TUSLA due to the unexplained nature of it. The child was not walking at the time.”

Insp Kennedy said that the accused is the maternal aunt of the baby.

He said that the accused was in paid employment from her sister and partner to look after the baby and two of the baby’s siblings for a number of months.

Insp Kennedy said that the accused has no English.

Judge Durcan remanded the accused on bail to October 10th for the serving of a Book of Evidence on condition that the woman surrender her passport.

Insp Kennedy said that time was required for the Book of Evidence as it was a recent matter and further medical reports will be required.

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