Monday 16 September 2019

Tina Cahill set to be deported from Australia after five years in jail for fiancé's violent knife death


Tina Cahill: Expected to serve five years of her eight-year jail term
Tina Cahill: Expected to serve five years of her eight-year jail term

Margaret Scheikowski in Sydney

Tina Cahill is expected to be deported to Ireland after serving five years of an eight-year sentence for stabbing her fiancé to death in Sydney.

Cahill (27) previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of David Walsh (29), who she stabbed once in the neck in the early hours of February 18, 2017, at the home they shared in Padstow.

The court heard that Cathrina 'Tina' Cahill, originally from Wexford, was in a volatile relationship involving aggression on both sides.

She was originally charged with murder, but her manslaughter plea was based on substantial impairment due to an abnormality of the mind.

"I am satisfied the psychiatric evidence supports the existence of significant depression on the part of the offender at the time of the killing, which arose from the unusual and abusive relationship with Mr Walsh," Justice Peter Johnson said yesterday in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

He sentenced her to eight years in jail, with a non-parole period of five years.

‘Stormy relationship’: Cathrina ‘Tina’ Cahill with fiancé David Walsh, who she stabbed to death
‘Stormy relationship’: Cathrina ‘Tina’ Cahill with fiancé David Walsh, who she stabbed to death

Her earliest release date will be in February 2022, when she is expected to be deported to Ireland.

The fatal attack occurred when an intoxicated Mr Walsh launched an unprovoked attack on Mathew Hyde, who had been invited into the home by Cahill and two other female housemates after they met him in a pub.

Cahill, who had also been drinking, tried to stop the attack, before she took out a "large, very sharp" knife from the cutlery drawer and stabbed Mr Walsh.

Another housemate had repeatedly told her to put the knife back, but Cahill said: "No, he needs to be taught a lesson, it's not fair, look at poor Mathew."

At the time, she was on a good behaviour bond and the subject of an apprehended violence order issued to protect Mr Walsh, after she was convicted of recklessly wounding him with a glass candle-holder in 2015.

Cahill gave evidence about his repeated violence, including punching strangers and biting her all over her body, his accusations of her sleeping with other men and his deleting texts from her phone.

The judge accepted her account of Mr Walsh's controlling and demeaning conduct, observing their marriage was "doomed to fail".

Last month, Cahill told the judge that, despite the problems in the relationship, she did not leave Mr Walsh as she loved him dearly.

The court heard she had packed her bags many times, but Mr Walsh would tell her things would be different.

"He would be making me dinner, buying me flowers, buying me a teddy bear but after two to three weeks it would go back to the way it was," she said.

She agreed with Mr Justice Johnson that her evidence revealed a "pretty stormy relationship" and that Mr Walsh might be seen to be a "controlling and fairly unpleasant person". But she said she stayed with him because "I loved him very dearly".

"There is not a day that goes by when I don't think about David's family," she told her barrister James Trevallion when asked how she felt about what she had done to her fiancé. "I loved him so much. He told me no matter what I did I would never get away from him and if I ever got with anybody else he would make my life hell."

Irish Independent

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