David Bourke loses appeal over wife's murder

Friday 25 January 2013 23.20
David Bourke stabbed his wife to death in front of their three children
David Bourke stabbed his wife to death in front of their three children

A man jailed for life for stabbing his wife to death in front of their three children has lost his appeal against his murder conviction.

This morning the three-judge Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed David Bourke's claim that his conviction for the murder of Jean Gilbert in August 2007 was unsafe and should be set aside.

In March 2009, the 52-year-old was sentenced to life by Mr Justice Barry White after a Central Criminal Court jury found him guilty of the murder at Laverna Dale, Castleknock, Dublin 15.

The former insurance administrator had denied murder but admitted he stabbed his wife under severe provocation because she was going to leave him for another man.

The main grounds of Bourke's appeal against his conviction included that the trial judge gave a material misdirection to the jury on the law regarding the defence of provocation.

This had the effect of making his conviction unsafe, it was claimed.

The DPP had opposed the appeal and argued that the conviction was safe.

The court, comprised of Mr Justice John MacMenamin presiding, sitting with Mr Justice Eamon deValera and Mr Justice Brian McGovern, rejected the argument made on Bourke's behalf and dismissed the appeal.

Bourke's conviction was "safe and should not be interfered with", the court said.

Mr Justice MacMenamin said the trial judge's summary to the jury in relation to the defence of provocation was absolutely "in accordance with the authorities".

The summary "was applied to a succinct but entirely fair summation of the main points of both the prosecution and defence cases," the judge added.