Life sentence for Dublin woman who stabbed husband
Tanya Doyle stabbed Paul Byrne over 60 times at house in Tallaght in 2009
A woman has been given a life sentence after being convicted of murdering her husband by stabbing him 61 times.
Tanya Doyle (40) of Pairc Gleann Trasna, Aylesbury, Tallaght had pleaded not guilty to murdering Paul Byrne (48) at that address on September 4th, 2009.
The defence had claimed Doyle, who admitted the killing, suffered from a mental disorder and asked for a verdict of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Doyle, who was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, told a psychiatrist in 2000 that she was going to stab her husband and plead insanity, the court heard.
But the jury of seven men and five women returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of murder after six hours and 19 minutes of deliberation.
As Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan handed down the mandatory life sentence, Doyle nodded and replied “ok, your honour.”
Mr Justice Sheehan backdated the sentence to September 4th, 2009 for time spent in custody.
He thanked the jury before excusing them from further service for a period of five years.
At the start of the trial the Central Criminal Court listened to an eight-minute 999 call made by Mr Byrne.
During the call the engineer is heard begging for his life as his wife is stabbing him to death.
The court heard Mr Byrne was 12 years her senior and the pair had been separated for a number of years.
The jury heard earlier that Doyle had previously stabbed Mr Byrne twice on one occasion in 2006 but no prosecution had followed.
In 2004 she told a counsellor she tried to stab Mr Byrne and his friend while drinking the previous year.
The court heard Doyle bought two knives and a packet of jelly babies the day before the stabbing.
Doyle, who was hospitalised on 15 occasions over a 10-year period, told a psychiatrist in 2000 that she was going to stab her husband and plead insanity.
She had also told a doctor that she was not happy with the outcome of a court case regarding the house.
Doyle had worked as a glamour model, a prostitute and later ran an escort agency, the court was told.
She told gardai it was “provocation” and her husband was taking €900 out of her account every monthwhen she worked in the escort agency.
She also told gardai she owed €70,000 euro to a number of financial institutions and she spent money on cosmetic surgery.
“All of my money went on boob jobs, nose jobs, veneers – the bank can’t repossess that,” said Doyle.
She told psychiatrists she sold a story about being a high-class hooker to a newspaper in March 2009 and thought she would be paid thousands for it but only got hundreds.
Professor Harry Kennedy of the Central Mental Hospital giving evidence for the prosecution said if Doyle had a mental disorder or not, he did not think it played a major part in the alleged offence.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Paul O’ Connell told the court his initial opinion was that the accused suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was insane at the time she killed her husband.
Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis gave evidence the cause of death was multiple stab wounds, with in excess of 60 stab wounds, including defensive wounds.
Dr Bernard Condon SC prosecuting told the jury in his closing speech that Doyle was a devious, calculating, vicious person.
The deceased’s brother Noel Byrne told the court he would never forget having to identify his brother’s body or identifying his voice in the 999 call.
Speaking outside court Mr Byrne expressed his disappointment that Doyle had not expressed remorse for his brother’s killing.
“We would like to refrain from passing any comment on her in particular. Her family too have shared in our grief,” he said.
“However we still don’t feel that Tanya has any remorse, she didn’t show any remorse in court and we’re very disappointed with that.
“We are very happy with the verdict we got today. This has been three-and-a-half years coming and it does give us a certain sense of comfort.
“Unfortunately our plight isn’t over, we will never have Paul back but we’re very grateful for the hard work and the effort that the guards put in to this case."