Monday 19 August 2019

Wife killer Brian Kearney denied parole, but could get outside visits

Brian Kearney murdered his wife Siobhán at their home in 2006
Brian Kearney murdered his wife Siobhán at their home in 2006
Brian Kearney murdered his wife Siobhán, pictured, at their home in 2006
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Wife-killer Brian Kearney has had an application for parole refused, the Irish Independent has learned.

It is the second time Kearney, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife Siobhán in 2006, has been knocked back by the Parole Board.

However, the board has recommended he be considered for "neutral venue visits" with his family.

This would involve visits with relatives outside of prison to aid re-socialisation and reintegration.

The board has also recommended Kearney (61) continues to engage with various therapeutic services available to him in Wheatfield Prison.

Details of the recommendations emerged in a letter from the Parole Board to Siobhán's relatives, who have objected to Kearney's efforts to secure release from prison.

Kearney was jailed in 2008 following a much-publicised murder trial at the Central Criminal Court.

A jury found he strangled his wife at their home in Goatstown, Dublin, on February 28, 2006 and then tried to conceal his involvement.

Kearney used a Dyson vacuum cleaner flex as a ligature before trying to hoist her body over the en-suite door in her bedroom in an attempt to make it look like a suicide.

Siobhán was aged 38 when she was murdered.

Her sister, Brighid McLaughlin, said she was not surprised by the decision of the board not to recommend parole.

However, she was surprised that consideration of outside visits with his family had been recommended at this stage of his sentence.

She said it was also "sickening" to learn Kearney was doing a first aid course behind bars, considering the circumstances of the murder.

"He is a murderer and he coldly and clinically executed Siobhán in her bedroom and destroyed our whole family," said Ms McLaughlin. "With Siobhán's premeditated, violent death, we have suffered the absolute breakdown of social rules and norms.

"Parole hearings trigger the worst images of our late sister.

"Brian Kearney is 52 kilos of pure evil. It is well known strangulation is the ultimate coercive control.

"There was no alcohol in Siobhán's system when she was 'throttled and garotted', to use the pathologist's words.

"I often wished she had consumed alcohol. Her death may have been less painful.

"But no, she was healthy, sober, alert, when he strangled her and then hung her over her bathroom door in her bedroom, a place she felt safe."

It will be another two years before Kearney's case is reviewed by the Parole Board again.

During a 13-day trial, a jury heard Siobhán was filing for divorce and had sought the advice of a solicitor.

The prosecution said Kearney murdered her rather than face the financial consequences of separation.

Irish Independent

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