Wednesday 17 January 2018

'Black Widow' Nevin back to her glamorous self after jail makeover

Catherine Nevin on day release
Catherine Nevin on day release

So-called "Black Widow" Catherine Nevin is living up to her name - at least in the fashion sense - as the convicted murderer sported a trendy black ensemble while out on day release from prison.

The 64-year-old, who is serving a life sentence for the April 1997 murder of her publican husband Tom Nevin, was photographed wearing a sleek two-piece matching blouse and trouser outfit - set off with designer sunglasses and handbag - as she emerged from the Dochas wing of Mountjoy Prison last week.

With recently-dyed blonde hair done up in a French braid, she was sartorially miles away from the dishevelled-looking version of herself who was photographed wearing scruffy jeans and a drab oversized top in Phibsboro last month.

The unflattering photograph, which was published in the Sunday World, reportedly infuriated the former clotheshorse who came dressed to the nines every day during her trial - the longest-running trial in the history of the State between February and April 2000.

Such was the public fascination with her coiffed hair, manicured nails and carefully selected clothes and accessories, the judge ordered a ban prohibiting the media from reporting on her attire and appearance.

According to a source, Nevin is still keen on keeping up appearances.

"You have to realise that in Nevin's mind, time hasn't moved on and she still sees herself as the glamorous pub owner who was jailed 16 years ago," the source said.

"She was raging that the country would have seen her as a broken woman and vowed that it wouldn't happen again."


"After the pictures appeared in the paper, she had her hair dyed in the Dochas Centre beauty salon and went shopping for a load of new clobber."

The source added that the killer "normally enjoys the limelight, but the pictures really got to her."

"It's always been about appearances for Catherine."

Nevin was jailed for life after a jury found her guilty of orchestrating the brutal murder of her husband, who was found shot to death at their former pub, Jack White's in Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow. Nevin also received a seven-year sentence for soliciting three men to carry out the murder.

She has never, however, admitted to the killing, claiming that she is an innocent party who has been wrongly convicted of a crime she didn't commit.

To this end, she has hired former Guildford Four and Birmingham Six barrister Michael Mansfield in a fresh bid to have her murder conviction overturned.

In the meantime, she has been granted day release from prison to attend a college course at Maynooth University.


She was previously granted temporary day release in April 2015, to attend a day course in addiction studies in Inchicore, Dublin, which upset members of the Nevin family.

But according to the source, Nevin's motivation for attending the college course is not only to expand her horizons.

Sources said yesterday that Nevin "agreed to take the course in the hopes that by complying with the parole board recommendation to do so, she will increase her chance of full release from prison next year."

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