Sunday 18 February 2018

Ex-partner tells of 'disgust' as killer Courtney released

Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

THE former partner of an Army private who bludgeoned a young newlywed to death has spoken of her "disgust" that he has been released from prison after serving 20 years of a life sentence.

The naked, battered body of Patricia O'Toole (31) was found in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains near Rathfarnham on the morning of September 1, 1991.

Originally from the city's northside but living in Killiney with her husband of one year, her body was found in a ditch by a man cycling to work on Mount Venus Road in the leafy south Dublin suburb of Rathfarnham.

Patricia was tricked into giving her killer, Sean Courtney, a lift as he offered to direct her to a house.

His trial heard he lost it, punched Patricia and knocked her out. He shoved her into the passenger seat and took off.

Patricia woke up on Mount Venus Road and started to scream, pulling open the passenger door. She fell out, he followed, grabbed a brick on the ground and bludgeoned her.

Courtney said he "just blew a fuse and went mad". The former soldier admitted to the killing but claimed he was insane at the time – due to post-traumatic stress disorder.

But Courtney's former partner, Amanda Reilly – with whom he has two children – has reacted angrily to news that he was released from prison over the weekend.

"You should stay there until you die. I know that probably sounds heartless but if someone had done that to my sister, I'd want them in there for life," she said. "I'm disgusted that he's been released."

Ms Reilly relocated to Australia following the murder, which happened 18 months after they separated.

Irish Independent

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