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Children saw father knife mother, murder trial hears

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Father-of-three David Bourke arriving in court yesterday

Father-of-three David Bourke arriving in court yesterday

Mr Bourke has denied murdering his wife, Jean Gilbert  at their Castleknock home in August 2007

Mr Bourke has denied murdering his wife, Jean Gilbert at their Castleknock home in August 2007

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Father-of-three David Bourke arriving in court yesterday

A MAN stabbed his wife to death in front of their three children because he thought she was going to leave him, a court heard yesterday.

David Bourke (49) has denied the murder of Jean Gilbert (46) at their home at Laverna Dale, Castleknock, Co Dublin, on August 28, 2007.

The jury at the Central Criminal Court yesterday heard statements from two of the children who were present at the time of their mother's alleged murder.

One of the children, who was 10 years old at the time, was in her pyjamas in the living-room with her two siblings and her mother.

"My dad came in. He was talking aggressively like you do when you're cross," she said.

The court heard that Mr Bourke asked his wife if she had taken their son's phone.

"Dad was standing in the doorway between the hall and the living-room.

"He stepped toward her [Ms Gilbert]. He had a knife. I saw the knife when my dad pushed my mum over. She was pushed over the chair on her back. She tried to grab my dad's hand to stop him. He was trying to stab her."

The court heard that the girl saw her mother "going pale".

"My mum and dad were fighting. My mum had a boyfriend."

The court heard that Mr Bourke thought his wife had gone to her boyfriend the night before the alleged murder.

"He said to me that she was gone to see her boyfriend. He was angry. He had an angry face on," the girl said.

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"My mum told dad she wanted a divorce. When he heard this for the first time he said that he wanted to jump off a cliff.

"Mum and dad were fighting a lot since mum told dad she wanted a divorce. Mum told dad she wanted a divorce two months ago.

"Before that they were fighting about little things. I don't know why she wanted a divorce."

A statement from the girl's younger brother -- seven years old at the time of the alleged murder -- was also read out to the court.

The jury heard that Mr Bourke and Ms Gilbert were fighting over the boy's phone.

"Daddy thought my mum gave my phone to mum's boyfriend," he said.

"My dad had the knife. He was trying to kill my mum.

"Dad tried put it [the knife] into mummy's tummy or head or something. I told dad not to kill my mum. He said, 'Stop it.' I can't remember where the knife went."

Firefighter Maurice McCann told the court that he received a call on the morning of the alleged murder.

The caller -- an adult male -- told him that he needed an ambulance for his wife. He said that he had attempted to kill her and had "stabbed her several times".

Crying

Mr McCann said that he could hear children crying in the background and suggested that they be taken to the next-door neighbour.

The caller told Mr McCann that his wife seemed "to be still alive".

"That's why somebody has to get here. I've three kids crying here," he said.

"I'm not going to do anything else to her. She's still alive."

The caller said: "The kids are in no danger. I love those kids."

The court heard that Ms Gilbert died later that day in Connolly Hospital, at 3.29pm.

Gda Padraig Brennan told the court that he arrived at the house in Castleknock at approximately 10.30am and observed Ms Gilbert lying unconscious on the sitting-room floor. The three children were also in the room.

Mr Bourke told Gda Brennan that he had "stabbed her three times".

"He pointed to a knife with a black handle on the mantelpiece and said that was the knife he had stabbed her with."

Gda Brennan said that he then arrested Mr Bourke.

He said that Mr Bourke "showed no emotion at the scene but once he had arrived at Blanchardstown Garda Station he became quite upset".

Earlier, opening the prosecution case, Ms Kennedy told the jury that the accused knew from June 2007 that his wife wanted to separate. She said that the jury will hear that Ms Gilbert met another man, the night before her alleged murder, at the Travelodge Hotel on the Navan Rd. The trial continues.


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