Saturday 17 March 2018

Woman accused of murdering husband claimed he had hit her

Tanya Doyle
Tanya Doyle

By Clodagh Sheehy

A woman accused of stabbing her husband in excess of 60 times claimed to a doctor that her husband had hit her but later denied this in a letter to the doctor, a court has heard.

Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist Prof Harry Kennedy of the Central Mental Hospital told the Central Criminal Court that the accused had a pattern of saying she did not remember events which she was later able to confirm.

Tanya Doyle (40) of Pairc Gleann Trasna, Aylesbury, Tallaght has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to murdering Paul Byrne (48) at that address on September 4, 2009.

Ms Byrne admits killing her husband but denies murdering him.

Professor  Kennedy, who was engaged to prepare a report by the Director of Public Prosecutions, said he interviewed Ms Doyle three times in September 2011.

He told the court the accused had been diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 12, had a history of benzodiazepine dependence and had previous overdose attempts.

During one admission to hospital she had claimed her husband had hit her but subsequently said this was a lie she had told so she could get to stay in the hospital.

The court heard Ms Doyle had used LSD first at the age of 16 and would also use it along with ecstasy.

She said she first used cocaine at the age of 20 and continued to do so after moving out of her home she shared with her husband in 2006.

Ms Doyle said she had bought cocaine from dealers but never got paranoid from the drug.

She said she had taken cocaine and cannabis while she was in Morocco, which she said was very strong and also bought valium in that country.

Ms Doyle also said she had used laxatives and diuretics to lose weight and the court heard she previously had bulimia.

Defence Counsel Mr Brendan Grehan SC told the jury at the start of the trial that it was admitted his client alone killed Mr Byrne and the issue in the trial would be Ms Doyle’s mental state at the time she carried out the stabbing.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis previously gave evidence the cause of death was multiple stab wounds, with in excess of 60 stab wounds, including defensive wounds.

Prof Kennedy outlined to the court a lengthy medical history of Ms Doyle's treatment by psychiatrists and their attempts to reduce her use of medication and alcohol over the decade before her husband died.

She had presented on several occasions as suffering from auditory hallucinations but she appeared to be using that symptom when "trying to get more potent medication".

At one point she was getting prescribed medication from both a GP and a psychiatrist without either doctor being aware of the other's prescription.

The combined amount of valium at between 60-80mgs a day "would be a very high dose above that which is licensed".

He said in a new user of the drug this would render the person "almost comatose" but in Ms Doyle's case she had become tolerant of the drug.

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