Millie Martin Murder: Man Jailed For 25 Years

A man has been ordered to serve at least 25 years for murdering the 15-month-old daughter of his former partner.

Barry McCarney, 33, of County Tyrone, was found guilty last month of Millie Martin's murder in Enniskillen in 2009.

Setting the minimum tariff McCarney must serve before being considered for release, Mr Justice Ben Stephens told the labourer at Belfast Crown Court he was a "deeply manipulative man" who had carried out a "sadistic sexual assault" on the child.

Millie died in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital after being badly beaten at a house in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, the day before.

Her mother Rachel Martin, 25, had gone briefly to a local shop in December 2009, but when she returned home her daughter and partner were not in the house.

She later said: "I was literally minutes away and when I got back ... I got a phone call telling me to get to the Erne hospital quick - Millie wasn't well - I was in hysterics."

McCarney was filmed on hospital CCTV carrying Millie into the emergency ward before she was transferred to the Royal Victoria hospital, where she was put on a life-support machine until members of her family arrived to say goodbye.

At the time, Millie's grandmother Margaret said the child "could never be replaced - it's just a nightmare, a nightmare every day".

During McCarney's trial, the jury heard how Millie received a fatal blow to the back of her head as well as a number of other injuries, including serious internal injuries which could also have proved fatal.

It was claimed that injuries to her abdomen had been caused by regular punching in the weeks before her death.

McCarney was also found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent and the sexual assault of Millie. He must serve at least six years and two years for those crimes respectively, and those terms will run concurrently with his murder tariff.

McCarney showed little emotion as he was sentenced.

Ms Martin looked on from the public gallery. She was previously acquitted of charges of allowing her daughter's death and cruelty through wilful neglect.

She criticised the sentence, saying outside the court: "I don't think it was long enough, 25 years isn't long enough."

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