The distraught father of an Irish carpenter, stabbed to death by his fiancee in Sydney, died 10 months later from a “broken heart” having told another of his sons “I don’t want him up there on his own”.
Victim impact statements written by four of David Walsh’s brothers were read out in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday at the sentence hearing of Cathrina Cahill who’s known as Tina.
Justice Peter Johnson also heard disputed evidence from a previous housemate of the couple, who testified to seeing Cahill stab Mr Walsh in the back of the head more than 18 months before his death.
Isobel Jennings denied lying when she recalled Cahill saying: “I just wanted to kill him. I just wanted to kill him.”
Cahill, 27, has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Walsh, 29, after fatally wounding him in the neck in the early hours of February 18 in 2017 at the Padstow home they shared with two other Irish nationals.
She was originally charged with murder, but the Crown accepted her plea to the less serious charge on the basis of substantial impairment due to an abnormality of the mind at the time.
Cahill gave psychiatrists a history of being in a traumatic relationship with Mr Walsh, hallmarked by physical, emotional and verbal abuse over a period of time.
Mr Walsh had five brothers, a sister and parents in Ireland at the time of his death.
But brother Jonathan Walsh, in a victim impact statement read out on his behalf, said when their father got the news he said: “I don’t want him up there on his own son. I am going to be with him soon.”
Brother Patrick Walsh wrote that their father died 10 months later “from a broken heart”, while their mother had become an empty shell of her former self.
Ms Jennings testified that on the evening of October 3, 2015, after hearing Cahill and Mr Walsh arguing, she saw him sitting on the sofa before Cahill came up the stairs with her hand behind her back.
Cahill suddenly stabbed him to the back of his head three of four times, but Ms Jennings said Mr Walsh did not want her to contact police as he said she had not meant to hurt him.
Under cross-examination from Cahill’s barrister, she denied making up the incident, but agreed there’d been house-related problems after she moved out and before she made her police statement.
The court was told Cahill was charged with one count of reckless wounding of Mr Walsh in relation to him being injured after she threw a large candle at him in November 2015.
She was convicted in her absence and placed on a two-year bond in April 2016 at Waverley Local Court.
According to the agreed statement of facts, the couple argued on the night of February 17, 2017, when they were drinking with others before Mr Walsh was thrown out of a pub and went back to the Padstow address.
After Cahill and their two female housemates arrived home with Matthew Hyde, whom they had socialised with at a pub, Mr Walsh repeatedly attacked the man wanting to know who he was.
Cahill was punched by Mr Walsh when trying to stop the attack, before she took out a “large, very sharp, bladed knife” from the cutlery drawer and stabbed him.
The hearing continues on Friday.
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