'No decision' made in Nevin case

Wed, Sep 19, 2012, 01:00

No decision has been made on whether to grant temporary release to the convicted murderer Catherine Nevin, the Department of Justice said tonight.

Nevin (61) received a mandatory life sentence in 2000 for the murder of her husband Tom Nevin on March 19th, 1996, at Jack White’s Inn in Wicklow, the pub the couple jointly owned.

In a statement, the Department said recommendations had been made to it about Nevin’s attendance at a course but that the Minister for Justice had made no decision yet.

It said it did not normally “provide details on individual cases” but that it "considered it necessary to clarify the position in this case and regarding life sentenced prisoners in general."

“A life sentenced prisoner is eligible for review by the Parole Board after serving 7 years in custody,” it said.

“Of those who have been granted temporary release in the form of parole since 2005, the average period of imprisonment before parole has been 17 years. This compares to an average of just over 7.5 years for releases dating from 1975 to 1984, just under 12 years for the period dating from 1985 to 1994, and just under 14 years for the period dating from 1995 to 2004. It must be emphasised that each case is decided on its individual merits. There is no set tariff or minimum term of imprisonment as there is in the UK.”

The Parole Board has made a recommendation that Nevin should be considered for day release to undertake a training course outside the Dóchas Centre, the women’s prison where she is serving her sentence.

The course will be part of the Irish Prison Service’s attempts to put together a pre-release plan for her. The Parole Board will consider her application for release in June 2013.

The Nevin case was one of the most publicised in the history of the State.

The court was told Nevin had hired a hit man to kill her husband and had then attempted to blacken his name by suggesting he was involved in the IRA.

After a trial lasting 61 days, with five days of deliberation by the jury, then a record, Nevin was found guilty of murder.