Friday 2 December 2016

Killing your spouse is no alternative to divorce

There's no excuse for taking someone else's life and depriving children of a mother, writes Carol Hunt

Published 12/10/2008 | 00:00

IT WAS during the trial of Brian Kearney (convicted of murdering his wife, Siobhan) that myself and a few male friends -- who were married, with mortgages and children -- had a rather unsettling conversation. We were discussing the increase in the number of reported cases where men killed their partners.

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What most of those convicted had in common was the fact that their relationships were in trouble (if not already over). Rowing was common. And they were the parents of young children. In some cases divorce was a very real prospect, with the possibility of losing custody of these children while having to pay out large sums to maintain their ex-partner in the family home.

Last week we saw yet another man convicted in connection with the death of his partner -- Michael Dermot McArdle now awaits sentencing. But his case is different from some of the more recent high-profile ones in that he was not convicted of murder but for the aggravated manslaughter of his wife, Kelly-Ann Corcoran, in the Costa del Sol in 2000. And, while there was evidence of rowing, there was no suggestion that the couple had irretrievably reached the end of their relationship. Another difference is that the death of Kelly-Ann sprang from a heated argument, rather than a cold-blooded plan.

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