Thursday 26 April 2018

Partner of baby-killer John Tighe 'warned not to leave their second child alone with him'

LIFE SENTENCE: John Tighe
LIFE SENTENCE: John Tighe
Natasha Sussbier pictured leaving court following the sentence hearing of John Tighe (40) of Lavallyroe, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, who was found guilty of the murder of his six-and-a-half month old son, Joshua Sussbier Tighe, at his home on June 1, 2013.Pic Collins Courts

Conor McCrave

The partner of baby-killer John Tighe was warned not to leave their second child alone with him weeks before it was born.

In an unpublished part of her victim impact statement, Natasha Sussbier said social workers from the Child and Family Agency TUSLA had raised concerns for the safety of their then unborn second child following the death of her baby son, Joshua.

She was told not to leave her child alone with John Tighe under any circumstances, the Sunday World reported.

Ms Sussbier said the evidence from TUSLA "convinced her that something sinister was going on" and that John "had lied to me".

John Tighe (40), from Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, was found guilty on Friday of the murder of his six-month-old son Joshua at his home in Co Mayo, in 2013 and was given a mandatory life sentence.

He claimed the death was an accident after he went to the bathroom and left the child unattended. He said his son must have put a wipe into his mouth and choked on it.

Natasha Sussbier pictured leaving court following the sentence hearing of John Tighe (40) of Lavallyroe, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, who was found guilty of the murder of his six-and-a-half month old son, Joshua Sussbier Tighe, at his home on June 1, 2013.Pic Collins Courts
Natasha Sussbier pictured leaving court following the sentence hearing of John Tighe (40) of Lavallyroe, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, who was found guilty of the murder of his six-and-a-half month old son, Joshua Sussbier Tighe, at his home on June 1, 2013.Pic Collins Courts

The court heard that an "egg-shaped wad" was taken from Joshua's throat consisting of two types of tissues. Prosecuting lawyers told the court that there were significant inconsistencies and, combined with the medical evidence, the only explanation was murder.

Medical evidence was presented to the court that suggested the tissue could not have made its way into that position it was found in.

Natasha Sussbier pictured leaving court following the sentence hearing of John Tighe (40) of Lavallyroe, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, who was found guilty of the murder of his six-and-a-half month old son, Joshua Sussbier Tighe, at his home on June 1, 2013.Pic Collins Courts
Natasha Sussbier pictured leaving court following the sentence hearing of John Tighe (40) of Lavallyroe, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, who was found guilty of the murder of his six-and-a-half month old son, Joshua Sussbier Tighe, at his home on June 1, 2013.Pic Collins Courts

The jury of nine women and three men found John Tighe guilty of murder after more than seven hours of deliberations.

In her Victim Impact Statement, Natasha Sussbier said she had never experienced such heartbreak before and that her heart shattered into a million pieces when she received the call to say Joshua was dead.

She recalled his "soft, perfect" but "so, so cold" hand in hers when she found him lifeless on a rug at John Tighe’s house.

She said she would never accept her son's death but would have to learn to live with it and that she visited his grave every day to help her deal with what she had heard.

The court heard how John Tighe had convinced Ms Sussbier that social workers were lying to her and said she should have copped on.

She said she always had questions at the back of her mind about Joshua’s death.

John Tighe was taken to Mountjoy prison following sentencing where he is reportedly on suicide watch.

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