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early parole Irish woman who killed her partner in Sydney could be released next year

Judge described relationship as ‘volatile’ and ‘marked by incidents of violence on both sides’

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Tina Cahill

Tina Cahill

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Tina Cahill

An Irish woman who stabbed her fiance to death in Sydney is expected to be released on parole early next year.

Cathrina ‘Tina’ Cahill was jailed in 2018 after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of David Walsh.

She stabbed him once in the neck following a row at their home in Padstow in the early hours of February 18, 2017.

Justice Peter Johnson, of New South Wales Supreme Court, sentenced her to eight years in jail, with a non-parole period of five years.

James Trevallion, the lawyer who represented her, told the Irish Independent he expects she will be released on parole in a matter of months.

“Tina will likely be released to parole on February 18, 2022. I expect she will be then held in immigration detention and deported soon after, but I don’t know exactly how long that process will take,” he said.

A person on parole is subject to a number of conditions after their release. If these are not followed, the parole may be revoked and the offender can be returned to custody.

It is expected that Cahill, from Wexford, will be de- ported back to Ireland after her release.

She pleaded guilty to manslaughter based on substantial impairment due to an abnormality of the mind.

When Justice Johnson handed down the sentence, he said he was “not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the offender intended to kill Mr Walsh”.

He said the offence was committed “in the heat of the moment”.

“I am satisfied the psychiatric evidence supports the existence of significant depression on the part of the offender at the time of the killing, which arose from the unusual and abusive relationship with Mr Walsh,” he said.

Judge Johnson described the relationship as “volatile” and one “marked by incidents of violence on both sides of the relationship”.

The couple got engaged on New Year’s Eve in 2016, but their relationship had been “doomed to fail”.

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The court heard that on the night of the stabbing, Cahill had returned from a night out with two female housemates.

They invited back a man named Matthew Hyde after meeting him at a pub.

Mr Walsh, who had also been drinking, was asleep on the couch and woke up and hit Mr Hyde from behind, yelling: “Who the f*** are you?”

He believed Mr Hyde was there with his fiancee and started to repeatedly punch him.

Cahill tried to stop the attack, before she took out a “large, very sharp” knife from the cutlery drawer and stabbed him.

Another housemate had repeatedly told her to put the knife back, but Cahill said: “No, he needs to be taught a lesson, it’s not fair, look at poor Matthew.”

She stabbed Mr Walsh in the left side of his neck.

Police and paramedics were called, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Judge Johnson found Mr Walsh used “controlling conduct, verbal abuse and demeaning language towards Ms Cahill, who responded with the use of violence, including the use of weapons, usually at times when both were intoxicated”.

He said the victim impact statements from Mr Walsh’s family “reflect the enormous loss suffered by each of them, and the terrible news of his death received by them in Ireland from a distant land”.

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