independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Murder accused said 'I stabbed him', court told

Maura Thornton arriving for the second week of her trial at Galway Court House

A WOMAN on trial for murder rang gardai and told them "I've stabbed the bastard", a court heard.

Maura Thornton (31), from Inverin, Connemara, denies the murder of Kevin Joyce (59) at an apartment at Upper Salthill, Galway, on July 31, 2011.

On the opening day of the murder trial, Maura Thornton's mother, Breege Ridge Thornton (59), told the jury she saw her daughter take a black-handled knife from the kitchen.

She said she saw her go outside the apartment in a rage – to where Mr Joyce had been standing looking in the kitchen window.

Her partner, Brendan Lydon, said he followed the accused outside a few seconds later. While he didn't see her stab Mr Joyce, he did see her standing over his still body with the knife in her hand.

The couple had been visiting the accused that day, concerned that she had started drinking heavily again.

Both witnesses told the jury of three women and nine men that the accused had been drinking cider and whiskey during the course of the day prior to Mr Joyce's unwelcome appearance outside her rented Salthill apartment at 10 that night.

Ms Ridge Thornton said that when her daughter left the apartment in a rage carrying the knife, she looked out the window and saw her daughter do a punching action with her hand.

She could not say if her daughter had a knife in her hand at the time.

Under cross-examination by Paul Greene, prosecuting, she conceded her daughter did have a knife. She said Mr Lydon came back a few seconds later and said Maura had stabbed Mr Joyce.

Mr Lydon said Maura left the bloodstained knife on the coffee table and asked him for his mobile to ring the gardai as she had no credit left. He told the jury he heard her give her name to gardai and say to them: "I've stabbed the bastard."

The trial continues today at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Galway before Mr Justice Barry White.

Irish Independent

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