Thursday 14 December 2017

Killer consumed by mistrust, rumours and sexual jealousy


Stephen Boyle was consumed by sexual jealousy and anger at his wife's infidelity and was infuriated by untrue rumours that he was gay, his murder trial was told.

Found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of 19-year-old Paul Boyle, who was no relation, Stephen Boyle reached a stage where he didn't trust a single person on his native Arranmore island off the coast of Donegal.

But while his estranged wife Sinead McCauley told the court she had a number of relationships with other men, she denied this was the reason for her marriage's demise.

"The reason our marriage fell apart was because of his drinking," she told the court.

But she agreed under cross-examination that there were periods between 2001 and 2006 after the marriage had broken down when she and her husband were intimate.

She had started a relationship with a man on the island in 2002 then later had a relationship with another man. When that relationship broke up, she began a two-year relationship with a man called Tony Ward who gave evidence at the trial.

Mr Ward said in evidence that he had had sex with Sinead McCauley in the seven-bedroom house in which defence lawyers said Stephen Boyle "had hoped to raise a family".

"According to her, they were having their own ways," said Mr Ward.

He denied having heard Stephen Boyle referred to by locals as saying "you f**ked my wife" -- because of Stephen Boyle's propensity for wildly and inaccurately accusing many different island men of having affairs with his wife.

The court heard evidence that Tony Ward was involved in a heated dispute with Stephen Boyle in the moments before Paul Boyle was twice struck by a Heineken glass.

During the trial, the court heard that at one time 10 of the 20 men whom Stephen Boyle employed in his construction company in London were from Arranmore including Paul Boyle, who worked for him during the summer of 2008.

It also heard that he, Paul Boyle and a number of other men from the island who worked for him took a holiday to Ibiza in July 2008.

Stephen Boyle said he fired one of those men, Patrick O'Donnell, because "he was spreading rumours I was gay" after an incident on that holiday in which he pretended to kiss one of the men.

"It was only a camaraderie thing, I was only kissing the back of my hand," he told gardai in an interview.

He later told gardai his mother had told him: "You shouldn't employ anyone you know."

The court was told by psychiatrist Dr Mary McGuire the accused had only heterosexual inclinations and was upset about rumours he was gay.

She also told the court Stephen Boyle had made serious attempts at suicide in May and August 2009.

Dr McGuire told Paul O'Higgins prosecuting that Stephen Boyle had told her Sinead had had an affair before they were married in 1997 which "broke trust", but that he proposed the following year.

Stephen Boyle said his wife claimed that between 2007 and 2008 he had had relationships with three women he had met on the internet but that he told her he did not have any before 2007.

In 2007, he gave his wife three months to leave his home and she moved in with her mother, she told the court.

He said that a month before the incident in Early's, he ran his BMW into a wall and he was knocked out. He then went home and tried to hang himself. The court also heard that in another incident he took an overdose.

He said he began binge-drinking when he was 17-and -a-half and joined AA in January 2007 after he saw a letter from his wife asking him for a divorce and €150,000 for her share in the house.

Work had dried up and he was under financial strain with his ex-wife's demand for money -- he was paying €400 a month in maintenance to her -- and he had to sell his house he had renovated for his family in England to pay the Revenue.

Stephen Boyle told Dr McGuire that by 2009 there were only Lithuanians left working for him and he did not trust anyone from the island.

Sunday Independent

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