Child cruelty trial hears testimony from emergency services and medical staff

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THE TRIAL A Dublin couple accused of causing serious harm to their child have learned that medical staff observed burns and bruises all over the girl’s body.

The 39-year-old man and 36-year-old woman, from North Africa, told paramedics that their nine-year-old daughter slipped in the shower hours before calling 999. Witnesses told paramedics. trial today that after the child’s hospitalization, both parents said they had never seen the wounds on his body before.

The couple, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, have pleaded not guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to the child at the family home in Dublin on July 2, 2019.

They also pleaded not guilty of cruelty to children, contrary to the Children’s Act, by failing to provide adequate medical help at the same time.

They further pleaded not guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious disfigurement to the child and two other counts of child cruelty on multiple occasions between June 28 and July 2, 2019.

On the second day of the trial, a number of witnesses from the Dublin Fire Department testified to what they saw when they answered a 999 call from the girl’s father around 10 p.m.

Witnesses described finding a young girl lying on a mattress in a messy room. The girl was staring with open eyes but her vision was unresponsive and her face looked bruised.

A firefighter said he found a fat of flesh on his foot, later described as a burst blister. He also found her thigh inflamed and hot to the touch. When paramedics subsequently arrived, they noticed what were described as “nail or bite marks” on the child’s back.

The jury heard testimony that the man said his daughter had been unhappy since arriving in Ireland three months earlier and was quite withdrawn and had self-harmed. He said she was unable to walk properly and could not straighten one of her arms.

A witness for Garda told the court that the man later told her that the girl had not seen a doctor since arriving in Ireland.

The girl was taken to Temple St Children’s Hospital in Dublin City where emergency consultant Dr Ike Okafor assessed her. He told the jury today that he concluded that there was a high probability that the child would die from his injuries and he noted significant disfigurement.

He said the child’s father told him the girl had fallen from his bike onto rocks two days earlier. He said the man told him he was at work the night before when his wife called him and told him the girl had slipped in the shower.

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The witness said the man told him that he had never seen the wounds found on the girl and that he never really spoke much with the girl and that she had dressed.

Dr Okafor said the girl’s mother told him she heard another girl screaming and then found the injured person on the shower floor.

When asked about the marks on the girl’s body, the woman said she had never seen them before, Dr Okafor said. She said her daughter was not normal and did not let her mother touch her, but said she was of good intelligence.

The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury. It should last three weeks, but could last up to four weeks.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are underway.


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