Tuesday 24 April 2018

'My wife is stabbing me' - jury hears harrowing recording of victim begging for help

Tanya Doyle
Tanya Doyle

By Michael Lavery

A jury today listened to a "distressing" eight-minute-long 999 phone call in which a man begged for help saying his wife was killing him.

When emergency services went to the Dublin house, they found a man lying dead on a bed with multiple stab wounds and his stomach cut open, the Central Criminal Court heard.

Prosecutor Bernard Condon told the jury, who were given transcripts of the call, that it was "somewhat distressing" to listen to.

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

Defence Counsel Mr Brendan Grehan SC told the jury at the start of the trial on Monday that it was admitted his client alone killed Mr Byrne.

Mr Grehan told them the issue in the trial would be Ms Doyle's mental state at the time she carried out the killing.

The jury today heard recordings of a 999 call made at seven minutes to seven on the evening of September 4, 2009.

Garda Damian McGarry of Tallaght Garda Station told prosecutor Bernard Condon that the call initially went to an Eircom call centre in Mullingar, but was also dealt with by a Dublin Fire Brigade operator.

There were two recordings, with the last two minutes being the DFB call only.

In the call, Mr Byrne is heard telling the Eircom operator "My wife is stabbing me," as he gave details of his address.

He also said, "She is trying to kill me," as he tried to explain where his address was to the two operators.

He is heard saying: "Don't do that, she is killing me."

At another stage he says: "Don’t kill me, I didn’t do anything to you."

He also screams during the eight-minute phone call.

"Look at me, I'm dying. Tanya, don't.

"You are killing me. I did love you Tanya, I'm dying."

In the last two minutes of the call, he is heard saying: "Please, Tanya, don't, Tanya, stop."

He tells the operator: "I'm dying here."

The Garda told Brendan Grehan, defending, that Tanya Doyle was heard to say, "talk," "what happened last night," and "my eyes," on the tape.

Dublin Fire Brigade member Paul Carroll, who went to the address with his station officer and two Gardai, said that when Tanya Doyle opened the door, he could see "a lot of blood".

"I asked her are you injured.  I don't think she gave any answer to that," he said. "I couldn’t see any sign of injury."

He asked if there was anyone else in the house and she replied: "He is in the bedroom, I think he is dead."

The deceased was lying on a bed with visible stab wounds.

His stomach was cut open and his intestines were hanging out, he said.

He had multiple stab wounds, the court heard.

Yesterday, the court was told by Mr Condon, who outlined the case for the prosecution, that Mr Byrne was an engineer who lived in Pairc Gleann Trasna and that he had married Ms Doyle in 2001.

They had separated some years later but Ms Doyle would come back to the family home to stay from time to time.

Ms Doyle was arrested on September 4, 2009, was interviewed six times and she said she had not stabbed him more than twice.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis carried out a post mortem examination and said there were over 60 wounds to the body of Mr Byrne including defensive type injuries.

Mr Condon told the jury this is what they will have to take account when considering the issue of murder.

Scenes of crimes examiners found two knives at the dwelling, one on the cistern of a toilet, and one on the bedroom floor, the court heard.

Mr Condon said gardai would tell the trial that a woman had bought two SuperCut knives on December 3 and receipts of these were found.

The trial, which is expected to last just over a week, is being presided over by Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan.

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