Victim's family upset his life counted 'for so little'
Published 24/03/2010 | 05:00
THE brother of the man killed by his wife in a hammer attack said he and his sister were "disappointed" with the outcome of the trial.
In a brief statement outside court yesterday, Tom Burke said they were also disappointed their brother's life "should count for so little".
In their statement following the bestowal of a non-custodial sentence on their brother's wife, they said: "He is dead. Not satisfied with that, a further assassination of his character and a tissue of lies was deemed necessary to acquit his killer of murder."
In a victim impact statement to the court on Monday, Mr Burke said Patrick was not the monster portrayed in the trial and he had worked hard as a groundsman to fend for his family. The family also said he had a great affinity with nature and had been a loving brother.
However, Judge Patrick McCarthy noted that there had been a 12-year break in the brothers' relationship and yesterday said that while he did not disregard what Tom Burke said completely, he felt his perception was "wrong as to what happened in the home".
Meanwhile, in her victim impact statement on Monday, Anne Burke's daughter Linda said her earliest memory was of her dad holding a shotgun to her mother's head and threatening to blow it off.
She said her mother was sorry for what she had done, and was living in a prison of her own making every day.
"But I hope it will not be a prison made of bricks as this would break my heart . . . I love her unconditionally," she said.
She said her father's death was shocking to her because she had always been convinced it would be he who would take her mother's life. She could never forgive her father, but she had stopped hating him.
In a joint statement, her older siblings, Natasha and Declan Burke, said they hoped their mother would not receive a jail sentence because "she has served a lifetime since the day she was married".
The evidence at the trial uncovered harrowing details of a 32-year marriage marred by violent rows, abuse and regular and excessive drinking.
Mrs Burke described her relationship as a "litany of abuse" and said her husband had "murdered her" on their wedding night, and the abuse had continued until the day he died.