herald

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Murder charge is dropped against victim's girlfriend

Yasmin Stephens
Yasmin Stephens

The charge has been dismissed against a 23-year-old Dublin mother who was accused of the murder of her boyfriend.

Yasmin Stephens, of Albert College Avenue, Glasnevin, was due to go on trial at the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday, charged with murdering her 33-year-old boyfriend Kieran Farrelly in the capital three-and-a-half years ago.

She pleaded not guilty to the murder at Killarney Court, Killarney Street, near Portland Row, on October 26, 2014.

A jury of eight men and four women had been sworn in to hear her trial, but a matter arose before it was put in charge of the case.

The jury was later discharged after her legal team succeeded in having the murder charge dropped.

Mr Justice Michael White made an order, pursuant to Section 4E of the Criminal Justice Act, dismissing the charge of murder against Stephens.

She was subsequently arraigned on the second count on the indictment, which concerned the robbery of a homeless man in the early hours of the following morning.

She pleaded guilty to robbing Hugh Gildea of a mobile phone, wristwatch, and €520 in cash on Mabbot Lane, Dublin, where he was sleeping rough.

The judge was shown CCTV footage of the attack, which lasted more than 20 minutes, and heard the statements of Mr Gildea and of two other witnesses.

Another man, Sean Ducque, had inflicted all of the violence, while Stephens had searched the victim's pockets and his bags between the beatings. She had also threatened him and demanded the pin for his bank cards.

Garnet Orange, for Stephens, said his client had been 19 and a heroin addict at the time.

She had been living on the streets with her boyfriend and was involved in the aimless existence of spending her days sourcing drugs.

Psychopath

He said that Ducque did not come across well in any view of the circumstances.

"I don't think any reasonable person would consider 'psychopath' an unreasonable description of him," he said.

He said that Stephens came from a good family, lived with her mother and grandparents and now had an 11-month-old son.

He asked for a probation report.

Mr Justice White remanded her on continuing bail until Friday, June 29, for preparation of that report.

It is expected that she will be sentenced on that date.