People v Feehan


1965 WJSC-CCA 522


Mr. Justice Teevan,

Mr. Justice Kenny

The Hon. the Chief Justice,

Judgment delivered the 7th day of October 1968 The Judgment of the Court was delivered by Kenny J. :

Kenny J.

The accused, Mary Feeban, was tried in the Control Criminal Court before Mr. Justice Murnaghan ???query?????? jury on a charge than on the 16th on 17th October she murdered Guard Hugh Patrick Greene ("The Guard"). After a trial which lasted five days she was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to penal servitude for life. An application for leave to appeal was refused by the trial Judge. We have decided to treat this application as the hearing of the appeal.


The accused, who is 18, lived at Balling Street, Crossmoling, with her mother: her father worked in England. The Guard, who was 46, was stationed of Crossmolina. His wife owned a public house at Blacksod and be lived in the Guards Barracks at Crossmolina. There was evidence from which the jury could have decided that there was an association between the accused and the Guard in 1967 and that he had tried to get a transfer from Crossmolina to a place nearer to Blacksod. On the 27th of September 1967 the accused bought 20 grains of strychnine in powdered form (strychnine hydrochloride) from a chemist in Crossmolina whom she told that she wanted it to get rid of a rat. The chemist was reluctant to sell it to her and entered her mother's name in the poisons register as the purchaser. The accused, in her evidence at her trial, stated that the Guard had asked her to buy this strychnine for him and that there had been a discussion between them before the purchase during which he made some reference to ending his life. She also stated that immediately after she had bought the poison she handed the package containing it to him. She had made attempte to ???query?????? Ryan-Gharda and had ???query?????? this with him.


On Saturday the lith of October the ???query?????? want to Castlebar to stay with ???query?????? relativer ???query?????? there until Tuesday morning, the 17th of October, so that the accused was living slowe in the house at ???query?????? Street on Sunday and Monday. The Guard, who had spent Sunday with its wife, came back by car to Crossmeling on Monday morning and went to the barracks. In the afternoon, the accused gave Guard Ryan a letter for the Guard which read: They was call us to the house today sometime before 5 O'clock. ???query?????? possible I have a bit of news for you." Guard Ryan delivered this letter to the Guard and the accused, when giving evidence, said that the Guard called to her house at about 5 O'clock on that afternoon and left the strychnine, which she had given him and which had not been unwrapped, on the mantelpiece of the sitting room. He visited a number of public houses between 2 o'clock and 11 o'clock and was last seen that night at 11.20 when he had taken a considerable amount of drink and when he was unsteady on his feet. ???query?????? that night at the Barracks and he was ???query?????? 8.40 on the following morning when he was ???query?????? Dr. Loftus” in Crossmelina. A number of ???query?????? gave evidence that he walked from Ballina Street towards the Barracks and that be was staggering as is was drask. At 8.45 ???query?????? telephoned the post office from the Barracks and asked the staff to get doctor ???query?????? shortly afterwards another telephone call was made and the speaker asked whether the doctor had been get. Dr. Loftus arrived at the Barracks a few minutes afterwards and thought that the Guard, who died at 9.27 had a heart attack. A pathological premination showed that a fatal does of...

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