Wife killer in bid to avoid serving Spanish jail term

WIFE killer Dermot McArdle has launched a last-ditch effort to avoid jail just as a European arrest warrant is about to be issued to bring him back to Spain.

The Dundalk father-of-three, who has bitterly fought serving his sentence, is thought to have lodged an appeal with Spain’s Constitutional Tribunal.

His appeal comes after Spanish authorities cleared the way for a European arrest warrant (EAW) to arrest the 41-year-old, following a bureaucratic hold-up.

It was not clear yesterday whether the warrant will be sent to Ireland for implementation now that a fresh appeal is under way.

It is understood the Department of Justice has not yet received the warrant. However, the process can take a number of days, legal sources said.

McArdle was sentenced to two years in Spain in 2008 for the negligent manslaughter of his wife, Kelly-Anne Corcoran, in February 2000.

Ms Corcoran, 29, fell from their balcony at a hotel in Marbella, in the Costa del Sol, after a violent argument with her husband.

McArdle’s sentence took into account mitigating circumstances, including that he attempted to stop his wife from falling after he manhandled her.

The couple’s child witnessed the fall and told the court: “Daddy pushed mummy down.”

McArdle, from Haggardstown, Dundalk, Co Louth, was also ordered to pay his late wife’s parents €100,000 and €60,000 each to his two sons by Ms Corcoran, Mark and Paul.

He fought the sentence handed down in October 2008 and appealed the decision. He was allowed return home to Dundalk, where he has a new partner, after the verdict, pending the outcome of the appeals process.

In February 2010 his appeal failed and he was ordered to return to Spain to serve his sentence. In March he was given a 30-day deadline to come up with the €220,000 compensation and hand himself over.

He was also ordered to pay all court costs, with outstanding fees estimated in the region of €500,000.

McArdle appealed again. His lawyers claimed he was being treated unfairly in comparison with other people who receive similar sentences. In Spain, jail terms of two years or less are generally suspended for first-time offenders.

Last July, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal and ordered McArdle to return to Spain and present himself to the authorities before August 5.

Spain’s Constitutional Tribunal will now decide whether there are any grounds for appeal. If there are, it will take judges several months to make a ruling.


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