herald

Friday 9 December 2016

'Black Widow' killer walking the city streets as she attends a counselling course

Catherine Nevin
Catherine Nevin

THE notorious 'Black Widow' murderer Catherine Nevin was back on the streets this week as she enjoyed temporary release from prison.

Nevin, who was jailed 15 years ago for the 1996 murder of her husband Tom, was spotted leaving the Dochas Centre on Wednesday.

It is understood that she was granted temporary release to allow her to attend a course on addiction counselling at an education centre in Inchicore.

Nevin (62) is reported to have also been using facilities at other third level institutions to pursue her studies.

She previously took part in a similar course at a community centre in Dun Laoghaire.

She left the women's prison where fellow inmates include killer 'Scissor Sisters' Charlotte and Linda Mulhall wearing a light blue fleece, wooly jumper, jeans and black Ugg boots,

She walked to Dorset St where she boarded a number 13 bus for the 30 minute journey across the city.

She met a man at an Applegreen garage before the course started and was later seen laughing with him as she walked to the course.

"She seemed to be full of the joys of life," one onlooker told the Irish Daily Mirror.

It has reported that Nevin works in the Dochas Centre Library and does beauty makeovers for other prisoners.

The course is part of a pre-release plan and it's understood that her temporary release has led to speculation that she will get out of prison soon.

The average life sentence stood at 17 and a half years in 2013 so Nevin may have some time to go before any possible release is sanctioned by the Justice Minister after if a recommendation for release is made by the parole board.

An Irish Prison Service spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday's temporary release.

Nevin's crime is one of the most notorious of the last two decades.

In 2000 Nevin got a life sentence for the murder of her husband Tom at their pub, Jack White's Inn, near Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, on March 19 1996. Tom Nevin was blasted to death with a shotgun in what was a staged robbery at the pub in the early hours of the morning.

She also received a concurrent seven-year sentence for soliciting three men - William McClean, Gerry Heapes and John Jones - to kill her husband in 1989 and 1990.

She has never admitted her guilt and made a number of appeals against the sentence over the years, with the most recent failing last summer.

Nevin lost an appeal against her conviction in 2003. In 2010 she also lost an application to have her conviction declared a miscarriage of justice.

Returning judgment on the most recent appeal in July 2014, Supreme Court judge Adrian Hardiman said there was "absolutely no points of any merit whatsoever".

Ms Nevin's solicitor Anne Fitzgibbon had told the court that her client maintains she had no hand, act or part in her husband's murder. She had maintained this from "Day 1" and maintains it now 14 years later, Ms Fitzgibbon said.

Nevin, who was present in court made little reaction to the failure of her appeal.

She had sought to bring her case before the Supreme Court on the basis that it raises points of law of exceptional public importance and that it is in the public interest that these should be decided on by the Supreme Court.

hnews@herald.ie

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