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09th May 2022

2-year-old Santina Cawley died from blunt force trauma

Kat O'Connor

The 2-year-old was killed in July 2019.

Toddler Santina Cawley died from blunt force trauma, a court has heard.

She suffered a traumatic brain injury, lower limb injuries, and damage to her upper spinal cord.

She also suffered a fractured skull, according to The Journal.

Medical experts claim she stood no chance of recovering from such severe injuries.

The court was told that virtually every part of her body was covered in bruises and cuts.

The 2-year-old was found critically injured at a residence in Elderwood Park in Cork city. She was discovered shortly after 5 am on July 5th, 2019.

Her father found Santina in a severe condition at his ex-girlfriend’s apartment.

He had returned to the residence after walking alone in Cork city at 3 am. It is believed he was trying to find his cousin.

The dad left the apartment just two hours before his little girl was severely harmed.

The young girl reportedly suffered over 50 injuries, but Assistant State Pathologist Dr. Margaret Bolster said her cause of death was blunt force trauma.

She stressed that this was not an accident and that the toddler would be in a deep coma due to the brain injury.

She told the court: “There was no way this child was walking around with these fractures. Once the head injury was inflicted she would have been in a coma.”

Santina was found naked in a duvet at the Cork apartment.

She was rushed to Cork University Hospital, but despite the efforts of paramedics and doctors, the toddler died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Karen Harrington is currently on trial at the Central Criminal Court. However, she has pleaded not guilty to the murder of the toddler.

She was in a relationship with Santina’s father at the time of her death.

The trial continues this week.