Trial of Cavan childminder accused of causing serious harm to baby begins

The trial of a Cavan child-minder accused of causing serious harm to a 10-month-old baby has opened at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

37 year old Sandra Higgins of The Beeches, Drumgola Wood, Cavan, has pleaded not guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to the baby at her home on March 28, 2012.

In his opening address today, prosecution counsel Kerida Naidoo said the jury would hear how the baby girl was admitted to Cavan General Hospital having seizures and looking “pale and floppy” at 5pm on the 28th of March 2012.

He said there would be evidence that the baby’s injuries included bruising and swelling on her head and face, bleeding on her brain and detached retinas on both her eyes.

He said it is the State’s case that these injuries caused a substantial risk of death or impairment to one or more of the baby’s bodily functions and that these were inflicted by Ms Higgins.

Counsel told the jury it would hear from multiple doctors who treated the baby as well as an expert in non-accidental injuries to children.

He said the jury would hear that the accused denied any wrongdoing when interviewed by gardaí. He added that nobody saw Ms Higgins inflict any injuries or shaking but that the prosecution’s case centres on background evidence, including who was caring for the baby at the time.

Mr Naidoo told the jury that it would hear that the accused, a married mother-of-two, began working as child-minder for the baby’s parents full time while in November 2011.

Mr Naidoo continues with his opening address before Judge Pauline Codd and a jury of seven men and five women.