Woman gets life for murdering husband

Elaine Byrne, Noel Byrne, and Lynn Byrne, with Paul's family and friends, address the media. Picture: Collins Courts

A woman has been given a life sentence after being convicted of murdering her husband by stabbing him 61 times.

Tanya Doyle, aged 40, of Pairc Gleann Trasna, Aylesbury, Tallaght, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Paul Byrne, aged 48, at that address on Sept 4, 2009.

The defence had claimed Doyle, who admitted the killing, suffered from a mental disorder and asked for a verdict of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Doyle, who was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, told a psychiatrist in 2000 that she was going to stab her husband and plead insanity, the court heard.

But the jury of seven men and five women returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of murder.

As Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan handed down the mandatory life sentence, Doyle nodded and replied: “Ok, your honour.”

Mr Justice Sheehan backdated the sentence to Sept 4, 2009 for time spent in custody.

At the start of the trial, the Central Criminal Court listened to a distressing eight-minute 999 call made by Mr Byrne. During the call the engineer was heard begging and pleading for his life as his wife stabbed him to death.

The court heard that Mr Byrne was 12 years her senior and the pair had been separated for a number of years.

The jury heard earlier that Doyle had previously stabbed Mr Byrne twice on one occasion in 2006 but there had been no prosecution in relation to that.

Doyle, who was hospitalised on 15 occasions over a 10-year period, told a psychiatrist in 2000 that she was going to stab her husband and plead insanity.

She had also told a doctor that she was not happy with the outcome of a court case regarding the house.

The deceased’s brother, Noel Byrne, told the court he would never forget having to identify his brother’s body or identifying his voice in the 999 call.

Speaking outside court, Noel Byrne expressed his disappointment that Doyle has not expressed remorse for his brother’s killing.

“We would like to refrain from passing any comment on her in particular.

“However we still don’t feel that Tanya has any remorse, she didn’t show any remorse in court and we’re very disappointed with that.

“We are very happy with the verdict we got today.”

‘Don’t kill me’

- In the 999 call, Mr Byrne is first heard saying, “hello my wife is stabbing me”, as he gave details of his address to an operator.

“She’s stabbing me… hello my wife is stabbing me, she’s trying kill me… she’s knocking the door down,” he says.

He is then heard saying “Don’t kill me, I didn’t do anything to you”.

A woman’s voice is then heard saying: “Ya did, it’s all over”.

Then Mr Byrne is heard saying “I do love ya, I’m dying, don’t do this, don’t do this to me.”

He is then heard saying: “Please… Tanya… don’t. Tanya stop. Let me die, let me die here.”

Doyle was heard saying on the tape “what happened last night”, and “my eyes”.

When Doyle discovered the phone had not been hung up, she ended the call immediately.


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