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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020

Father of Irishman killed by fiancée in Australia died of 'broken heart', court hears

Victim impact statements were read yesterday by four of David Walsh’s brothers in the case against Cathrina Cahill.

Cathrina Cahill seen leaving court last week
Cathrina Cahill seen leaving court last week
Image: Joel Carrett/AAP/PA Images

A NEWLY-ENGAGED Irish woman who has admitted the manslaughter of her fiancé in Sydney previously was convicted of wounding him, a court has been told.

The distraught father of an Irish carpenter, stabbed to death by his fiancée in Sydney, died 10 months later from a “broken heart” having told another of his sons: “I don’t want him up there on his own.”

Victim impact statements written by four of David Walsh’s brothers were read out in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday at the sentence hearing of Cathrina Cahill, who’s known as Tina.

Justice Peter Johnson also heard disputed evidence from a previous housemate of the couple, who testified to seeing Cahill stab Walsh in the back of the head more than 18 months before his death.

Isobel Jennings denied lying when she recalled Cahill saying: “I just wanted to kill him. I just wanted to kill him.”

Cahill, 27, has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Walsh, 29, after fatally wounding him in the neck in the early hours of 18 February 2017 at the Padstow home they shared with two other Irish nationals.

She 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.

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

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.

Jennings testified that on the evening of 3 October 2015, after hearing Cahill and Mr Walsh arguing, she saw him sitting on the sofa before Cahill came up the stairs with her hand behind her back.

Cahill suddenly stabbed him to the back of his head three of four times, but Jennings said Walsh did not want her to contact police as he said she had not meant to hurt him.

Under cross-examination from Cahill’s barrister, she denied making up the incident, but agreed there’d been house-related problems after she moved out and before she made her police statement.

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

She was convicted 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 17 February 2017, when they were drinking with others before Walsh was thrown out of a pub and went back to the Padstow address.

After Cahill and their two female housemates arrived home with Matthew Hyde, whom they had socialised with at a pub, Walsh repeatedly attacked the man wanting to know who he was.

Cahill was punched by Walsh when trying to stop the attack, before she took out a “large, very sharp, bladed knife” from the cutlery drawer and stabbed him.

The hearing continues today.

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About the author:

Margaret Scheikowski

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