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Renato Gehlen sentenced to life imprisonment for murder of wife Anne Colomines

Statements were read out from members of the deceased’s family in court.

Anne Colomines
Anne Colomines
Image: Facebook

RENATO GEHLEN HAS been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his wife Anne Colomines, who was described today in court as a “beautiful, intelligent woman” who loved life and was looking forward to the future.

Mr Justice Michael McGrath sentenced Gehlen to the mandatory life term after hearing statements written by the deceased’s mother Danielle Gallard, sister Alexandra, father Jean Louis and other family members.

Anne Colomines’ mother Danielle, who was not able to travel in person from France, wrote that her life has lost meaning since her daughter’s death. She added: “Anne was my friend, my love, a beautiful, intelligent woman”.

The judge offered his condolences to the Colomines family, whose grief he said was made “all the more harrowing” by Gehlen’s attempt to say that Anne Colomines killed herself.

Gehlen (39), a Brazilian national, was convicted by unanimous jury verdict of murdering Anne Colomines (37) at the home they shared in Dorset Square, Gardiner Street Upper, Dublin 1 on October 25, 2017.

His trial heard that Ms Colomines had started seeing another man and told her husband she wanted a divorce.

He claimed that she stabbed herself four times, including a fatal injury that penetrated her heart and a 20cm long knife wound to her neck.

State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan told the trial it was “highly unlikely” that Ms Colomines stabbed herself. She also pointed out that there were defensive type injuries to her hands which are often seen when a person tries to block a knife attack.

Alexandra Colomines, the sister of the deceased, was joined in court by friends for today’s hearing.

‘Beautiful, intelligent woman’

Ms Colomines’ mother and father were unable to travel from France for the sentencing although her mother, Danielle Gallard, did attend throughout the trial last month.

In a written statement to the court, Ms Colomines’ father Jean-Louis said the “sudden and horrendous loss” of his child was a “huge shock”.

His heart is torn, he said, as he can no longer hear his daughter’s voice, her laughter or see her smile.

Ms Gallard, said, “I am in despair not to hear your voice and see your smile. My life has lost meaning.”

She described Anne as her friend and love and a “beautiful, intelligent woman.” She added, “Forgive me for not protecting you. Every day I hear your call, your screams of panic and pain. Rest in peace. Your mum will always love you.”

Alexandra Colomines said she felt time stood still when she heard that Anne, her little sister, was dead.

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She described her “intense pain” and heartbreak and recalled going to a Dublin morgue to identify her sister’s body and then to a funeral home to choose a coffin.

She went to the apartment where Anne was murdered to gather her things and to the office at Paypal where Anne worked. “I saw your mug, your scarf, I have met all of your friends who miss you terribly,” she said.

She concluded, “The more the years go by, the more we miss you. You loved life and the people around you and you had a future.”

Speaking outside the court, Alexandra said her sister was a “generous lady who loved people and was always smiling and was ready to help everyone and was loved by everyone.”

When asked about Gehlen’s attempt to blame Anne for her own death, she said, “We couldn’t believe him because we know Anne very well. We knew she wouldn’t do that.”

Ms Colomines added that women who find themselves in controlling relationships should not be afraid and should talk to somebody they can trust.

About the author:

Eoin Reynolds

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