High Court told Nevin must prove her innocence
Catherine Nevin would have to prove her innocence if evidence of her conviction of the 1996 murder of her husband Tom was to be used as part of a civil action aimed at stopping her inheriting any of his estate, the High Court was told yesterday.
Tom Nevin’s brother and sister asked the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, to rule on a preliminary issue that evidence at Nevin’s trial, and of her conviction, is admissible as part of their action aimed at fully disinheriting her and seeking damages for wrongful death.
Nevin (61), who has always denied any involvement in the murder, claims evidence of her conviction should not be used in the civil action.
In a counter-claim, she contends she is entitled to her late husband’s assets, or part of them, by virtue of survivorship and the laws of intestacy.
The preliminary matter concluded yesterday and Mr Justice Kearns reserved his judgment.
George Brady SC, for Patrick Nevin, Loughrea, Co Galway, and Margaret Lavelle, Craughwell, said, if the court allowed evidence of Nevin’s conviction to be used, she must prove she did not murder her husband.
Solicitor Anne Fitzgibbon, for Nevin, argued it would be incorrect to admit evidence of her client’s conviction in the civil action.
The “traditional rule” was that evidence of a criminal conviction could not be used in a civil action, Ms Fitzgibbon said.