Seven years for woman who killed partner
A WOMAN who killed her former partner in a knife attack was jailed for seven years.
Maura Thornton (31) from Inverin, Co Galway, was found guilty of manslaughter at her trial in Galway for stabbing US national Kevin Joyce (59) a total of 18 times after he turned up out of the blue at her apartment in Salthill, Galway, on the night of July 31, 2011.
She later told gardai that she hadn't meant to kill him – she said she just meant to "give him a few prods" but could not stop and did not know whether she was "getting the jacket or the body".
She appeared stunned after she was sentenced to 10 years, with three years suspended, by Mr Justice Barry White yesterday.
The Connemara woman said "Go raibh maith agat" to the judge after sentencing.
The brother of Kevin Joyce, Tim, yesterday said he would be forever haunted by the way Kevin Joyce died and by the words spoken by his killer.
Tim Joyce, an artist who lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, said Kevin's death had left him suffering from post-traumatic stress.
Mr Joyce said he believed his brother may have been able to fend off the repeated attacks by his former girlfriend had it not been for the fact that he broke his arm scaling the iron railing outside her home.
The artist added that he would always be haunted by Thornton's comments when she was arrested.
"Why on earth did she say at her first hearing 'May he rest in peace'? This comment haunts me," he said.
Mr Joyce's sister, Sheila Montgomery, who flew to Ireland to identify her brother's body and bring them home to Cleveland, said Kevin had loved Thornton and would wish that she could turn her life around.
During interviews, Thornton had told gardai that she had been drinking cider and whiskey all day.
The court had heard that Mr Joyce had alcohol levels in his system six times over the legal limit for driving.