TINA CAHILL TO BE SEN­TENCED THIS WEEK FOR MAN­SLAUGH­TER

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A Syd­ney court has heard a New Ross woman who killed her fi­ancé was suf­fer­ing from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der (PTSD) in the pe­riod lead­ing up to the tragic death in Aus­tralia,

Cath­rina (Tina) Cahill (27), from New Ross, is due to be sen­tenced this Thurs­day, hav­ing en­tered a guilty plea to man­slaugh­ter of En­nis­cor­thy man David ‘Motcha’ Walsh be­tween Fe­bru­ary 17 and 18, 2017, at the home they shared in the Pad­stow area, around 20km from Syd­ney.

Her mur­der trial was due to get un­der way last Tues­day, but this was can­celled be­cause of the man­slaugh­ter plea.

Mr Walsh (29) died af­ter suf­fer­ing a cat­a­strophic in­jury to his neck caused by a bro­ken bot­tle.

Ms Cahill’s par­ents, Daniel and Rita, had trav­elled from New Ross to sup­port their daugh­ter and had a chance to speak with her in court on Tues­day.

Be­fore chang­ing her plea, Ms Cahill waved to her par­ents.

De­fence bar­ris­ter James Treval­lion told the court of the ‘provo­ca­tion and con­trol­ling be­hav­iour by the de­ceased to­ward Ms Cahill in the weeks and days be­fore he died, shortly af­ter the cou­ple were en­gaged. ‘How de­grad­ing and psy­cho­log­i­cally dam­ag­ing and vi­o­lent that be­hav­iour was,’ he said.

The de­fence ar­gued that Ms Cahill car­ried out the killing un­der ‘sub­stan­tial im­pair­ment’ and that she had suf­fered from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der as a re­sult of Mr Walsh’s con­duct to­wards her. Pros­e­cu­tor Nanette Wil­liams said the Crown ac­cepted the plea to the less se­ri­ous of­fence on the ba­sis that Cahill was suf­fer­ing an ab­nor­mal­ity of mind at the time.

Jus­tice Peter John­son said she had a ‘stormy’ re­la­tion­ship with Mr Walsh.

Ms Cahill had been so­cial­is­ing with a num­ber of friends that evening be­fore a row broke out at the cou­ple’s home, with lo­cals re­port­ing loud noises com­ing from the prop­erty. Neigh­bours later de­scribed how they were wo­ken by sirens and the sound of shat­ter­ing glass shortly af­ter midnight.

Paramedics worked on Mr Walsh at the scene, but were un­able to save him.

The cou­ple’s two house­mates, now back in Ire­land, could give ev­i­dence about the na­ture of the re­la­tion­ship, Mr Treval­lion said.

They also were wit­nesses to events on Fe­bru­ary 17 at the Cock’N’Bull Ho­tel, the Don­caster Ho­tel and at the Pad­stow ad­dress, he added.

The Crown and de­fence have yet to pre­pare an agreed state­ment of facts for the judge to use as the ba­sis for Ms Cahill’s sen­tence hear­ing on Thurs­day and re­manded Cahill in cus­tody un­til that date.

Ms Wil­liams said the Crown was seek­ing vic­tim im­pact state­ments from a num­ber of Mr Walsh’s fam­ily mem­bers in Ire­land. She said Mr Walsh had four chil­dren and sev­eral broth­ers who should be given the op­por­tu­nity to give state­ments if they so wished.

She said she had spo­ken to the mother of three of Mr Walsh’s chil­dren, and of­fered them the op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide state­ments.

Mr Walsh also has an­other child who is much younger and ef­forts are be­ing made to con­tact the mother of that child.

Speak­ing out­side the court af­ter the hear­ing, Mr Treval­lion said Ms Cahill was ‘do­ing OK’.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Mr Walsh’s fam­ily were also present for the hear­ing.

Ms Cahill had worked in Melbourne af­ter first em­i­grat­ing be­fore mov­ing to Syd­ney with two friends from New Ross.

Mr Walsh, who is orig­i­nally from Mo­ran Park in En­nis­cor­thy, was fac­ing a num­ber of charges in Ire­land but had moved to Aus­tralia.

The charges in­cluded an as­sault of his ex-part­ner in 2012, as­sault­ing three gar­daí at En­nis­cor­thy Garda Sta­tion that same year and three other as­sault charges.

These in­cluded as­sault caus­ing harm to an En­nis­cor­thy man at Burger Macs on Sel­skar Street, Wex­ford, on June 9, 2013, and as­sault on an­other lo­cal man which took place on April 15, 2012.

Mr Walsh was also fac­ing a charge of as­sault­ing three gar­dai at En­nis­cor­thy Garda Sta­tion at the be­gin­ning of 2012.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his killing was led by the Bankstown Sta­tion in Syd­ney and the New South Wales Homi­cide Squad, with as­sis­tance from the Ir­ish con­sulate in Syd­ney.

Tina Cahill out­side court in Syd­ney.

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