murder trial  | 

Court hears man suffered ‘rapidly fatal wound’ after his wife stabbed him

The court heard Philip Doyle was stabbed twice in the hallway before he collapsed in the garden

Sarah Doyle

Eoghan Dalton

A man received a "rapidly fatal wound" when his wife stabbed him in his chest, a jury has heard.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster gave evidence in the trial of Sarah Doyle, who is accused of the murder of Philip Doyle after stabbing him twice with a knife.

The incident happened during the early hours of January 26, 2020 at their home, after Ms Doyle and her mother-in-law, Jackie Doyle, came home from a night out.

Ms Doyle (32), of The Heath, Ramsgate, Gorey, Co Wexford, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Doyle (33).

Ms Bolster told the Central Criminal Court sitting in Waterford that she conducted her examination on the deceased the day following the stabbing, having been briefed that there had been an altercation at the family home where Mr Doyle "tried to physically remove" Sarah Doyle from the upstairs of the house following an incident with his mother.

She was told that he was stabbed twice during the incident in the hallway before collapsing in the garden.

Detailing his injuries, she said the first stab wound penetrated 16.5cm into his chest, cutting into the membranous sac around his heart and his right ventricle.

This resulted in his death as a result of haemorrhage, shock and blood filling the left lung and the membranous sac around his heart. It further caused a "total collapse" of the left lung.

A second stab wound penetrated his liver along with a "fracture of the rib from a clean cut".

A kitchen knife measuring 19.5cm in length had a blunt upper edge and a sharp lower edge, which matched the two wounds inflicted on Mr Doyle, the court heard.

Family members left the courtroom crying after the weapon was presented as an exhibit to the jury.

Ms Bolster said there was no evidence of injuries dealt by sharp weapons to the hands of the deceased.

Blood tests found traces of alcohol in Mr Doyle and no traces of drugs.

The jury heard from interviews conducted by detectives with Sarah Doyle the day following the incident where she told them that she loved Mr Doyle.

She told gardaí "I'm going to get sick" before breaking from the interview.

When she returned, she said Mr Doyle had "dragged" her down the stairs by her hair when trying to remove her from the house.

Detectives Jacinta Gordon and Darren Coleman had noted in the interview that she had been photographed by garda colleagues at the station earlier, with bruises on her nose and arm.

The accused said her late husband had been violent towards her and had "punched" her in the face during the incident.

The couple had moved to Gorey seven months earlier with their two toddler sons, having originally come from Bray, Co Wicklow. Mr Doyle's seven-year-old daughter was also in the house on the night of the incident.

The trial continues.

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