NewsCrime Desk

Ailing Black Widow's plot to share grave with husband she murdered

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Catherine Nevin
Catherine Nevin

BLACK WIDOW Catherine Nevin is set to be laid to rest in the same burial plot as the husband she had shot dead in a horrifying final twist for his grieving family.

Terminally ill Nevin (64) has been given less than three months to live after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

She has always maintained her innocence of the murder of her husband despite her conviction being upheld after several appeals.

Wicklow County Council this week confirmed to the Sunday World that Nevin owns the plot in Barndarrig Cemetery in Wicklow where Tom is buried and has full legal entitlement to be laid to rest with her husband’s remains.

“Catherine Nevin purchased the plot where Tom was buried at a cost of IR£118 in March of 1996,” the source confirmed.

“The plot is a single plot with permission for three burials. 

“This means two more burials are permitted in the plot, of which she is the full and legal owner.

“At this time the only burial that has been recorded in the plot is Thomas Nevin’s.”

A purchase order for plot number 524 shows that Nevin gave her address at the time as Jack White’s, Arklow Publican.

The purchase order also shows that Thomas Nevin (55) was recorded as having been buried in the plot on March 22, 1996.

The  headstone on the plot where Tom was laid to rest  bears the inscription: “In Loving Memory of Thomas (Tom) Nevin, Jack White’s Inn, Brittas Bay who was murdered on 19th March 1996 aged 55 years.”

Tellingly, when ordering the headstone, Catherine left space beneath the inscription for the addition of her own name in the wake of her death.

The right-hand side of the headstone reads: “When a loved one’s gone, those we love remain with us, for love itself lives on, and cherished memories never fade, because a loved one’s gone.

“Those we love can never be more than a thought apart, for as long as there is memory, they’ll live on in the heart.”

Where Tom Nevin was laid to rest

When contacted this week, family members of murdered Tom declined to comment on the looming issue of Nevin’s burial, saying they had been unaware of the issue surrounding the burial plot.

Legal sources say there are a number of options open to the family, should they wish to enter a heart-breaking final battle with Nevin to prevent her being buried alongside  innocent victim Tom.

These include seeking an injunction preventing her burial in the plot or having Tom’s remains exhumed and buried in another location prior to her burial.

Throughout her 16-year stint in prison for Tom’s murder, Catherine has maintained to other inmates she is innocent of involvement in the plan that saw him killed.

And in the final pictures taken of Nevin, taken by the Sunday World in August, she continued to wear the wedding ring given to her by him.

When we approached Nevin, she even then appeared a pale shadow of the femme fatale who gained nationwide notoriety after the shocking murder.

Gone are the power-suits and flaming red mane of hair that signalled her arrival in court each day during her trial.

Instead, she cut a pathetic figure shuffling through the streets of Dublin, her glamourous clothing replaced by scruffy denim jeans while her thinning greying hair is swept back in a pony-tail.

Nevin became one of the most high-profile spouse killers in Ireland’s criminal history when in 2000 she was convicted of hiring three men to gun down Tom in his pub, Jack White’s Inn in Brittas Bay. 

The person who pulled the trigger has never been brought to justice.

Nevin never admitted her guilt and has appealed three times against her life sentence.

She was charged with murder in April 1997 and found guilty in August 2000 after a gripping 42-day trial.

Nevin also got a seven-year sentence for soliciting three men to kill her husband.

The trial heard how her marriage to Tom, described as a ‘gentle giant’ by all who knew him, was a deeply unhappy one endured by the shy, salt-of-the-earth publican in the face of her numerous and very public affairs.

She flaunted her lovers in the pub in front of her husband and even furiously ordered him to knock before entering her bedroom after he found her in bed with another man.

Nevin’s patience with her husband’s presence in the family home was running out and in 1996 she had him shot dead in a staged robbery.

The jury’s decision to find her guilty was based on the evidence of three men – William McClean, John Jones and Gerard Heapes – who said they were solicited by Nevin to kill her husband.

Catherine and Tom Nevin on their wedding day

There was no forensic evidence, and there were no eye-witnesses to the killing. 

There was no admission by Nevin that she had any involvement in the crime. 

There was circumstantial evidence, but the jury was told this alone was not sufficient to convict her.

The credibility of the three men who say they were solicited by Nevin to kill her husband is at the heart of whether her conviction is safe.

Despite her conviction, Nevin waged a long-running legal battle with her victim’s family in the hopes of inheriting her slain husband’s assets while repeatedly seeking to have her conviction overturned.

Just last June it emerged she had signed up one of the world’s most high-profile human rights lawyers in a fresh bid to have her murder conviction overturned.

Britain’s top crime profiler, Professor David Wilson, said Nevin would never lose face by admitting to the killing.

“In the fantasy world that she created for herself, she was a good wife and an excellent businesswoman and on her way up the social and cultural ladder of Ireland,” he said.

“She will never admit to what she did because in that fantasy world she is as pure as the driven snow.”