Trial hears Santina Cawley died of “forcefully inflicted injuries”

38 year old Karen Harrington of Lakelands Cresent in Mahon in Cork is charged with the murder of Santina Cawley at 26 Elderwood Park, Boreenmanna Road on the 5th of July 2019.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster told today’s Central Criminal Court sitting in the city that Santina sustained 53 injuries prior to her death, which she says were not consistent with a fall or accidental death.

Dr Bolster told the jury there was extensive damage to the toddler’s head and brain that would have sent her into a deep coma. The child also sustained an upper spinal cord injury and blunt force trauma to her legs.

There was a complex fracture of the skull, a fracture to the right arm and the thigh bone and two fractured ribs. Dr Bolster said there was extensive bruising and no sign of any underlying illness and said she could not count the number of impacts to the head.

She also noted signs of medical intervention on the body as desperate efforts were made to save the child at Cork University Hospital before she died in her mother Bridget’s arms shortly after 9am.

The trial continues in front of Justice Michael McGrath.


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