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Crucifix killer's husband back to work in city

THIS is the husband of crucifix killer Karen Walsh back at work in his Dublin office.

Richard Durkin has attempted to get his own life back on track after seeing Walsh convicted of murdering an OAP.

He stood by the killer during the trial for the murder of neighbour Maire Rankin (81) in her house on the Dublin Road, Newry, at Christmas 2008.

The pensioner was found naked, battered to death with a crucifix and sexually assaulted on Christmas Day.

Mr Durkin returned to work in Dublin less than 10 days after Walsh (45) was convicted, the Herald can reveal.



lunch

He was spotted arriving at the offices of Devaney and Durkin in Portobello near Rathmines, where he is a partner in the firm.

He made no comment on his wife's case or sentencing when approached by the Herald.

His blue Mercedes was parked outside and Mr Durkin put something into the boot of it on his way back from lunch before walking up the steps to the front door.

Walsh has begun her life sentence for the horrific killing.

During the trial, Belfast Crown Court heard that Walsh had visited Mrs Rankin late on Christmas Eve, and had drank neat vodka in the house before killing her.

An almost empty litre bottle of vodka was found at the scene.

Walsh was seen on the Dublin Road early on Christmas morning and police found phone records that suggested she tried to call her husband in Dublin around the same time.

But the caller had mixed up the dialing codes for north and south, indicating that whoever made the calls was in a panic.

Walsh, a pharmacist originally from Galway but who ran a chemist shop in Dublin's George's Street, had pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Hart told Walsh that the law permits only one sentence for murder, that of life imprisonment.

The judge told her: "Whatever happened on that night, this was a brutal attack on an elderly and defenceless woman. She was completely defenceless."

He added that after pre-sentence probation reports had been completed, he would fix the minimum tariff she must serve in jail before even being considered for release.



evil

As Walsh was lead to the cells, she turned to the judge and said: "I'm completely innocent."

During evidence the court heard that Mrs Rankin's ribs were broken, apparently after being sat on during the "sustained" assault.

Her crucifix that had hung above Mrs Rankin's bed had also been used to hit her around the face. It broke during the attack.

After the trial, Maire's sister Mairead said of Walsh: "She is pure evil, and during the trial we wondered did other people see her the way we did. There was no motive, nothing. She denies having anything to do with it."

cfeehan@herald.ie