Killer stabbed fiancé in head during earlier row, court told

An Irishwoman who has admitted stabbing her fiancé to death in Sydney, knifed him in the head in a previous incident, a judge has been told.

Cathrina Cahill, known as Tina, stabbed David Walsh three or four times in the head in 2015, former housemate Isobel Jennings told the New South Wales Supreme Court.

Ms Jennings was giving evidence at the sentencing hearing for Cahill, who had been charged with murdering Mr Walsh (29) originally, but admitted manslaughter. The 27-year-old made the plea on the basis of her “substantial impairment”.

The couple, from Co Wexford, had only been engaged for five weeks when Mr Walsh was killed in February last year at their home in the Sydney suburb of Padstow.

Cahill gave psychiatrists a history of a traumatic relationship with Mr Walsh which had been hallmarked by physical, emotional and verbal abuse.

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

However, she agreed that there had been problems after she moved out and before she made her police statement.

The court heard Cahill had been charged with recklessly wounding Mr Walsh, which related 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 at Waverley Local Court.

On the night Mr Walsh was killed, the couple argued when they were out drinking with others. They parted and Mr Walsh returned home.

He was asleep in the house when Cahill, two female friends and Matthew Hyde, a man they had been drinking with, arrived back there.

Soon after, Mr Walsh repeatedly attacked Mr Hyde, wanting to know who he was and, in the chaos, Cahill screamed: “Stop it, Davey … he’s with Grace.” She tried to get a grip of her fiancé’s arms when he swung his arm back and she fell to the ground.

There was a scuffle and she punched him in the face before he tried to punch her in the face. Eventually, she took a “large, very sharp-bladed knife” from the kitchen drawer and stabbed him.

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

His father died 10 months later from a “broken heart” having told another of his sons: “I don’t want him up there on his own.”

Mr Walsh’s brother Jonathan, in a victim impact statement read out on his behalf, said when their father got the news, he said: “I am going to be with him soon.”

Another brother, Patrick, said their mother had become a shell of her former self.

The hearing is continuing before Justice Peter Johnson.

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