'Our family is forever broken' - Life sentence for mum who killed partner with kitchen knife
The heartbroken family of a man stabbed to death by his partner said they are "forever broken".
Mum-of-three Paula Farrell, from Drogheda County Louth, was handed a life sentence after a jury found her guilty of murdering Wayne McQuillan (30) with a steak knife last year.
The court heard that Ms Farrell (42) admitted to Gardai that she got a large kitchen knife and "stuck it in" her partner during an argument on New Year's Day.
The sister of the deceased, Audrey McQuillan, read out a victim impact report on behalf of her parents, Bernie and Jim, telling the court it will haunt them forever to think that Wayne was killed by someone who should have loved him.
The courtroom heard how his last moments on this earth were moments of pain and fear, and as a family they were not there to hold his hand and comfort him.
"It pains us, therefore, to think that as Wayne progressed in life and formed new relationships, relationships we had hoped would be caring and loving, that it was in fact one of these relationships that would lead to his death," said Ms McQuillan. "She took Wayne's future and our future too. There will be no more birthday parties, no more Christmas gatherings and the New Year will never be the same for us again.
"Wayne will never get to live out his dreams, he will never fulfil his ambitions. We will never see him get his first home, get married, have children.
"We will never get to share all those celebrations with him. Our family is forever broken," read Ms McQuillan.
Farrell with an address at Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, Co Louth was charged with murdering Mr McQuillan on January 1, 2014.
On June 22, 2015 at the Central Criminal Court, Farrell pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr McQuillan but after a period of three hours 27 minutes deliberating, the jury yesterday found her guilty.
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy told the 11 members they were exempt from jury service for the next 10 years.
At the opening of the trial four weeks ago, the court heard that Farrell and Mr McQuillan, who was known as "Quilly", had been in a relationship for a year. He was 10 years younger than her and lived with his parents.
In his opening speech, Prosecution Counsel Gerard Clarke SC told the jury that Farrell killed the deceased by stabbing him four times with a "large kitchen knife".
Mr Clarke said the couple regularly "overindulged" in drink and on this night an argument broke out.
"Ms Farrell took a large kitchen knife from a large block of knifes and stabbed Mr McQuillan four times and one stab was fatal," said Mr Clarke.
In cross-examination, Mr Clarke accused Farrell of telling "deliberate lies to the jury".
"I suggest this didn't happen, you made this up so the jury will believe you and it will affect the outcome of your case."
The accused replied, saying: "I'm not lying."
Deputy State Pathologist Michael Curtis had told the trial that the fatal blow was an 18cm deep stab wound to Mr McQuillan's left shoulder which penetrated his lung.