Irish woman who stabbed fiance asked why she did not leave him

Tina Cahill says she believed David Walsh every time he said he would change

An Irish woman who killed her fiance in Sydney has told a judge she did not leave the “controlling and fairly unpleasant” man as she loved him dearly.

Cathrina (Tina) Cahill (27) said she believed David Walsh every time he said he would change, but said he would always revert back to his bad behaviour.

She was giving evidence during her sentencing hearing after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of her 29-year-old fiance.

She stabbed Mr Walsh once in the neck in the early hours of February 18th last year at the home they shared with two other Irish nationals in the suburb of Padstow, south-west Sydney.


Ms Cahill, from Wexford, was originally charged with murder, but the Crown accepted her plea to the less serious charge on the basis of substantial impairment due to an abnormality of the mind at the time.

At the New South Wales Supreme Court on Tuesday, prosecutor Nanette Williams noted Ms Cahill told police in September 2015, after an apprehended violence order was issued against Mr Walsh to protect her, that she held no fears against him.

“I was in fear of getting in more trouble from David if I told the truth,” she said. “He would call me a rat and a dog.” She agreed she also told police Mr Walsh was not a risk to her in any way, but she said she was trying to protect him.

She had packed her bags many times to leave him, but Mr Walsh would tell her everything was going to be different, the court heard.

“He would be making me dinner, buying me flowers, buying me a teddy bear, but after two to three weeks it would go back to the way it was,” she said.

She agreed with Justice Peter Johnson that her evidence revealed they had a “pretty stormy relationship” and that Mr Walsh might be seen to be a “controlling and fairly unpleasant person”.

But she said she stayed with him as “I loved him very dearly” and he did have some good features.

The fatal attack occurred when an intoxicated Mr Walsh launched an unprovoked attack on a man invited into their home by Ms Cahill and two other female housemates.

Ms Cahill, who also had been drinking, was punched by her fiance when trying to stop the attack, before she took out a “large, very sharp, bladed knife” from the cutlery drawer and stabbed him.

Ms Cahill’s barrister James Trevallion said there was no evidence his client had ever struck Mr Walsh without any provocation and noted she was smaller than him. He submitted she had no intention to kill, the stabbing had involved a single blow and Mr Walsh was the one who initiated the violence.

Justice Johnson, who said the case involved “unusual features” such as a “type of two-way domestic violence”, will sentence Ms Cahill on December 12th.