Irish woman stabbed fiance 18 months before killing in Sydney, court told

Tina Cahill (27), from Wexford, pleaded guilty to manslaughter of David Walsh in Australia

Tina Cahill pictured with late fiance David Walsh

Tina Cahill pictured with late fiance David Walsh

 

A newly-engaged Irish woman who has admitted killing her fiance in Sydney stabbed him in the back of the head more than 18 months before his death, a judge has been told.

Former housemate Isobel Jennings testified that the couple were arguing before she saw Cathrina Cahill come up the stairs with her hand behind her back and then suddenly stab David Walsh in the head three or four times.

Ms Jennings was giving evidence on Thursday at the New South Wales Supreme Court sentencing hearing of Ms Cahill, from Wexford.

Ms Cahill (27), pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to the manslaughter of Mr Walsh (29), on the basis of substantial impairment.

She had originally been charged with murder but the charge was downgraded.

Ms Cahill, who is known as Tina, admitted unlawfully killing Mr Walsh — who was also from Wexford — between February 17th and 18th last year in the suburb of Padstow, which they shared with two other Irish people.

She gave psychiatrists a history of being in a traumatic relationship with Mr Walsh, hallmarked by physical, emotional and verbal abuse over a period of time.

Under cross-examination from Ms Cahill’s barrister, James Trevallion, Ms Jennings denied lying about the incident in which she said Cahill had stabbed Mr Walsh in October 2015.

Ms Jennings agreed with Ms Cahill’s barrister there’d been house-related problems after she moved out and before she made her police statement.

The court was told Ms Cahill was charged with one count of reckless wounding of Mr Walsh in relation to him being injured after she threw a large candle at him in November 2015.

She was convicted of the offence in her absence and placed on a two-year bond in April 2016 at Waverley Local Court.

According to the agreed statement of facts, the couple argued on the night of February 17th, 2017 when they were drinking with others.

They parted, before Ms Cahill, two female friends and Matthew Hyde, a man they had socialised with at one of the pubs, arrived back at the Padstow address where Mr Walsh was either asleep or partially asleep on a couch.

Soon after, Mr Walsh repeatedly attacked Mr Hyde wanting to know who he was and, during the ensuing chaos, Ms Cahill screamed: “Stop it Davey, get off, get off ... he’s with Grace.”

She tried to get a grip of her fiance’s arms when he swung his arm back and she fell to the ground, the facts said.

She moved towards him and punched him in the face with a closed fist, before Mr Walsh pushed her again and tried to punch her in the face.

Eventually, “the offender opened and closed the cutlery drawer quickly taking out a large, very sharp, bladed knife”.

One witness said over and over again “put it back” but Ms Cahill replied: “No, he needs to be taught a lesson. It’s not fair. Look at poor Matthew.”

Victim impact statements written by four of David Walsh’s brothers were read out in the NSW Supreme Court on later on Thursday at the sentence hearing of Ms Cahill.

Mr Walsh had five brothers, a sister and parents in Ireland at the time of his death.

But brother Jonathan Walsh, in a victim impact statement read out on his behalf, said when their father got the news he said: “I don’t want him up there on his own son. I am going to be with him soon.”

Brother Patrick Walsh wrote that their father died 10 months later “from a broken heart”, while their mother had become an empty shell of her former self.

–PA/AAP