Thursday 19 October 2017

Tanya Doyle found guilty of husband’s murder

By Clodagh Sheehy

A woman who stabbed her husband more than 60 times has been found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Tanya Doyle (40) of Pairc Gleann, Trasna, Aylesbury, Tallaght, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Paul Byrne (48) at that address on September 4, 2009.

The jury of seven men and five women took six hours and 19 minutes  to reach their unanimous verdict guilty of murder  at the Central Criminal Court today.

Tanya Doyle showed no emotion as Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan sentenced her to life in prison and backdated the sentence to September 4th 2009 when she was first imprisoned.

The victim's older brother Noel Byrne described how hard it was to listen to Paul's final words on the eight minute long 999 call recording played to the court.

Paul Byrne could be heard  screaming and telling operators "my wife is stabbing me".

Noel Byrne said he felt the last three years with Paul had been stolen from him.  "I have not been myself since I identified Paul's body and listened to the 999 call.

"I have had many sleepless nights as too have many others in our family."

Mr Byrne said the family's hearts went out to the jury "with what they had to listen to and the images they viewed."

He added he had hoped to feel satisfaction when the trial began but instead he just felt "sickened" as it progressed.

The family were disappointed that Tanya had not taken any responsibility for her actions and not yet, as far as he knew, "expressed even the slightest amount of remorse".

Mr Byrne, an engineer, who was separated from his wife, was declared dead at his home after being stabbed by his wife.

The court heard the couple had married  in 2001.They separated years later but Doyle would come back to the family home to stay from time to time.

At 6.53pm on the night of the killing, emergency services received a 999 call from Mr Byrne  begging for help, saying “My wife is stabbing me.”

Gardai gained access to the house and found Mr Byrne with a knife protruding from his body and a doctor pronounced him dead at the scene.

Gardai who spoke to Ms Doyle at the scene reported that she told them  “He got what was coming to him. I meant to kill him, I meant to f**king kill him.”

When asked if she meant to stab him so many times she said: “I did because I wasn’t going to be done for attempted murder, I wanted a fresh start with decent money, he wouldn’t sign over the house.”

The trial heard Ms Doyle had told gardai she owed 70,000 euro to a number of financial institutions and some of the money had been spent on cosmetic surgery and dental veneers.

The court was told that Ms Doyle had been diagnosed an epileptic at the age of 12 and had been on medication for most of her life.

It heard she was hospitalised on 15 occasions over a 10-year period and her average admission was between a week and a month.

Two consultant psychiatrists gave differing views on Ms Doyle's condition.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Paul O’ Connell said his initial opinion was that the accused suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was insane at the time she killed her husband.

He had subsequently changed this view saying she had schizoaffective disorder that would diminish her responsibility for the killing.

Professor Harry Kennedy of the Central Mental Hospital giving evidence for the prosecution said if Ms Doyle had a mental disorder or not, he did not think it played a major part in the alleged offence.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis previously gave evidence the cause of death was multiple stab wounds, with in excess of 60 stab wounds, including defensive wounds.

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