Tragic lives  | 

Woman died months after giving evidence at trial of ex husband who murdered her partner

“Candice was always drinking. She just didn’t care any more."

Candice Paget, who gave evidence in the trial of her estranged husband Anthony Paget. Photo: Collins Photo Agency

Seán McCárthaigh

A Dublin woman who died within seven months of being a key witness at a murder trial “just didn’t care any more” after her partner was killed and her estranged husband was sentenced to life in prison, an inquest has heard.

A sitting of Dublin District Coroner’s Court into the death of Candice Paget heard her health deteriorated after the trial at the Central Criminal Court last year.

Ms Paget (37) died in the Mater Hospital in Dublin on November 7, 2021 as a result of organ failure after years of suffering bad health.

The coroner, Dr Clare Keane, noted from medical records that Ms Paget, who had HIV, had stopped taking her medication and was “back on drugs”.

The dead woman’s twin sister, Alexis, said her late sister had “got a lot worse” after she lost her partner and saw her estranged husband getting sent to jail for life.

“Candice was always drinking. She just didn’t care any more,” she recalled.

Her sister had given evidence at the Central Criminal Court in April 2021 in a murder trial where her estranged husband, Anthony Paget, was accused of fatally stabbing her then partner, Aidan McMenamy.

Ms Paget told the trial that a fight had broken out between the two men at the home where she lived with Mr McMenamy in Clinch’s Court, North Strand in Dublin on July 19, 2019.

She described how her boyfriend, whom she claimed was “jealous” of Paget, was stabbed after he had slashed her estranged husband in the face with a knife.

The court heard how the parties had taken heroin and been drinking vodka at the time.

Anthony Paget. Pic: RTE

Paget (46) of Carnlough Road, Cabra, who died in the Mater Hospital in Dublin in January after contracting pneumonia while serving a life sentence in Portlaoise Prison, had denied murdering Mr McMenamy but pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

However, a jury convicted him of murder by a unanimous verdict after two days of deliberation at the end of a week-long trial.

Ms Paget's twin told the inquest that her late sister knew in her final two weeks that she was dying.

A male friend of the dead woman described her as “full of life” and “gorgeous” but added that “drugs took their toll.”

Dr Keane said the immediate cause of Ms Paget’s death was cirrhosis of the liver, while the coroner noted she also had an alcohol dependency and untreated Hepatitis C.

In addition, she observed that the deceased was infected with HIV.

Based on the medical evidence, the coroner returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

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