Thursday 18 December 2014

Widow weeps as she’s accused of assaulting husband with intent to murder

Tom Tuite

Published 11/01/2013 | 12:00

Christopher Payne

A 59-YEAR-OLD woman wept in court today after telling gardaí "I'm innocent" when she was charged with assault with intent to murder her former husband who died after he was attacked in his south Dublin home in 1988.

Father-of-two Christopher Payne was attacked at 82 Rutland Grove, Crumlin, on May 13 1988, by a group of men armed with a hatchet.

Mr Payne, who also suffered from a chronic kidney ailment, was treated in hospital for serious head injuries sustained in the assault but never recovered; he died six months later, aged 38.

Today, following her extradition from England, Philomena Coton appeared at Dublin District Court.

Detective Sergeant Daniel Kelly of Sundrive Road Garda station told Judge Victor Blake that he arrested her on foot of a warrant at 9.10pmat Dublin Airport yesterday. She was brought to Sundrive Road station where she was charged.

She is accused of assault with intent to murder Christopher Payne, and causing grievous bodily harm, charges she denies.

Dressed in black coat, black trousers and a green top, she remained seated and wept throughout the brief proceedings.

State solicitor Vincent Maloney told Judge Blake that the DPP has directed that Mrs Coton should be tried on indictment. He also said "it is a very old case" and it could take some time before the book of evidence is completed.

Det-Sgt Kelly applied for a one-week remand in custody.

Defence solicitor Ann Brizzell asked for the State to explain why the District Court did not have jurisdiction to grant bail on the charges. The defence lawyer also told Judge Blake that a co-accused had been granted bail in the District Court previously.

Judge Blake remanded Mr Coton, who did not address the court, in custody to appear again next Wednesday when the State are to set out their reasons why the district court should not decide on the issue of bail.

Mrs Coton, who had been living in Stoke Aldermoor, Coventry, is the second person to face charges following a review of the investigation by the garda cold case unit.

In December 2011, her daughter 40-year-old Sharon Cullen, who now resides in Ballyjamesduff in Co Cavan, had also been charged with assault with intent to murder Christopher Payne, and assaulting him causing grievous bodily harm.

She has brought a High Court challenge aimed at halting her trial and contends she cannot get a fair trial due to the delay in prosecuting her.

In 1989, two youths were jailed for their role in the attack.

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