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Maura Thornton has been refused permission to see her mother at Christmas

Maura Thornton has been refused permission to see her mother at Christmas

Maura Thornton has been refused permission to see her mother at Christmas

A woman who killed her partner during a drunken row has been refused permission to spend Christmas with her mother.

Maura Thornton (38) from Inverin, Connemara, Co Galway was sentenced to ten years imprisonment with the final three suspended in 2013 after she was found guilty of the manslaughter of her former partner Kevin Joyce (59) outside her apartment in Salthill in Galway on July 31, 2011.

The Central Criminal Court previously heard that Thornton was granted early release in February 2018 but has since breached the conditions of her partly suspended sentence by drinking alcohol. Her barrister, Blaise O'Carroll SC, said she "may have gone over to drink" as a result of a feeling of isolation due to Covid-19 public health measures.

Ms Thornton today appeared before the Court via video link from the Dochas Women's Centre at Mountjoy prison. She did not speak during the hearing but Mr O'Carroll told Mr Justice Paul McDermott that she has been having regular meetings with health professionals who say she is "open, insightful and realistic" about her situation. She is, counsel said, engaging with prison services.

Mr O'Carroll suggested that it might be "more beneficial to her psyche" if she could spend Christmas at home with her mother.

Mr Justice McDermott said he has a number of concerns and is not amenable to releasing her for Christmas. He said he wants a "structured plan" drawn up for her ongoing treatment and adjourned the case until February 9 to allow that to happen.

During Thornton's Central Criminal Court trial it emerged that her relationship with Kevin Joyce had involved heavy drinking. On the night of the killing she had been drinking excessively when Mr Joyce entered the rooftop area of her apartment by climbing up an emergency stairwell.

A stand-off ensued and when Mr Joyce refused to leave Thornton stabbed him 18 times. She called gardai and said she had stabbed someone but when gardai arrived they were unable to interview her due to her state of intoxication.

Mr Justice Barry White suspended three years of her sentence to give her an incentive to rehabilitate.

Online Editors


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