The trial of a woman who is charged with the murder of two-year-old Santina Cawley in July 2019 has heard the toddler died from a traumatic brain injury with polytrauma and bone fractures inflicted by blunt force.
Karen Harrington, with an address at Lakelands Crescent, Mahon, in Cork, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Santina at an apartment in Cork city in July 2019.
Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster was the pathologist who conducted the post-mortem examination on Santina's body.
She gave evidence of the findings of the post-mortem examination at the trial today and spent more than 40 minutes describing the injuries Santina sustained, both externally and internally.
She said Santina suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, which would have caused her to fall into a coma.
There was a bruise on Santina's forehead, she said, and bruising extending over her entire scalp and inside the scalp.
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She said she could not count the number of impacts that caused this bruising.
There was bruising to Santina's face and extensive bruising of her body, she said, extending to the bones between her toes.
She suffered several fractures, including a complex fracture of the skull, fractured ribs and fractures to her "long bones".
Dr Bolster said it was her view that these injuries were inflicted forcefully, and could not have been sustained accidentally by Santina.
Later, it was put to Dr Bolster by defence Senior Counsel Brendan Grehan that she favoured a belief that Santina sustained the injuries by being struck against something, rather than stuck with something.
She said that was correct.
Asked also if she believed the injuries were "non-accidental", Dr Bolster replied: "Absolutely."
She said she based that on the multiplicity of injuries and where they were located on Santina's body.
Dr Bolster's evidence to the trial has concluded.
A memo of Karen Harrington's questioning by gardaí following her arrest was also read to the jury.
During her questioning, she repeatedly denied murdering Santina Cawley, but could not explain how she died.
Asked where the evidence that was being put to her led, she said: "It's looking at me."
The trial is expected to continue this afternoon.