Sentencing due in Salthill manslaughter case

Monday 11 March 2013 22.10
Maura Thornton told the Central Criminal Court that her former partner was a kind and boisterous man
Maura Thornton told the Central Criminal Court that her former partner was a kind and boisterous man

A 31-year-old woman found guilty of the manslaughter of her former partner has told a court it was very gracious of his family to be as forgiving as they are.

Maura Thornton from Inverin in Connemara stabbed Kevin Joyce 18 times when he appeared uninvited outside her apartment in Galway in July 2011.

Mr Joyce's daughter said in a victim impact statement read to the Central Criminal Court that her father was a forgiving man with a kind heart.

She said Thornton should be given the chance to change her life, heal herself and leave violence behind her.

Mr Justice Barry White said he will pass sentence on Wednesday.

The court heard that Thornton had been in a loving relationship with Mr Joyce but after they broke up he kept phoning her and arriving uninvited at her apartment, including on the night of 31 July, 2011.

Thornton, who had been off alcohol for the previous six weeks, was drinking heavily again.

The court heard that Mr Joyce had climbed over railings at 9.45pm and climbed on to a flat roof outside the window.

Thornton ran out and stabbed him 18 times.

She called the emergency services but a Garda Superintendent told Mr Justice White that she was so drunk she could not be interviewed and a doctor was called to certify her as unfit.

Thornton wept as she held the bible in her hand after taking the stand and said it was very gracious of the Joyce family to be as forgiving as they are.

She said Kevin was a kind man, boisterous and funny but the relationship was dominated by alcohol from day one.

She said she thought about him often as he would often say: "God is very good, but the devil is not bad on his day off either."

Thornton also said she knows he is "up there" and hoped he is in a better place and that he will be a part of her life until whenever she meets her maker.