Thornton jailed for seven years for killing ex partner
A WOMAN has been jailed for seven years for killing her former partner in a knife attack.
Maura Thornton (31) from Inverin, Co Galway was sentenced to 10 years with three years suspended by Judge Barry White.
She was found guilty of manslaughter during her trial in Galway last month but was sentenced today at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin.
She stabbed Kevin Joyce (59) a total of 18 times in July 2011 after he turned up out of the blue at her apartment in Salthill, Galway, climbing over railings and onto a flat roof to do so.
Judge White told Thornton that he believed the jury had taken a "very merciful approach" by finding her guilty of manslaughter rather than murder.
He also said the Joyce family in America had also been "very humane" and shown "true Christianity" by making a statement appealing that she be shown compassion.
He recognised that Thornton had led an "undoubtedly difficult life" and that she had a serious drink problem which resulted in her "acting badly on occasion". However drink could not be an excuse for offensive behaviour, he added.
Thornton held her emotions in check during the hearing but appeared to be shocked by the sentence imposed.
Speaking afterwards in Irish outside the court, her mother Bride Thornton said her daughter was very sad but was going to come out of jail "a reformed character."
She thanked the Joyce family, the gardai and anyone who had helped during the ordeal, adding that she was happy it was now over.