Killerís appeal date is set
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
KAREN Walsh, the woman responsible for the brutal murder of Newry pensioner Marie Rankin, has had her appeal postponed until November.
Walsh, 47, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for battering the 81-year-old to death in her Dublin Road home on Christmas Day in 2008.
The Dublin pharmacist is appealing her conviction after being told she must serve at least 20 years in prison - one of the longest sentences ever handed down in the north.
Mrs Rankin, who was a devout Catholic, had been beaten with a crucifix she received as a wedding present and had suffered 15 broken ribs. There was also evidence of a sexual assault. Walsh, a mother of one, worked in Dublin but often stayed in the home she owned next door to Mrs Rankin.
She is believed to have arrived at the pensioner's home drunk with a bottle of vodka and attacked Mrs Rankin when she told her to go home to her young son.
Despite being convicted of the brutal murder in October 2011, and sentenced to a minimum of 20 years, Walsh continued to claim her innocence.
However, during her sentencing Mr Justice Hart said Walsh had shown no remorse, offered no
explanation as to what happened and posed a significant risk to the public.
In the Court of Appeal in March, Walsh's barrister confirmed that most of the trial transcripts required as part of the bid to clear her name had been obtained. DNA evidence and forensic records are also expected to form part of the appeal case.
Walsh has always claimed innocence despite being found guilty of the murder. DNA evidence and forensic notes are expected to form part of her legal challenge.
A hearing had been scheduled for early next month, June 2, however the Court of Appeal was told on Wednesday that material is still being sought for the case.
Lord Chief Justice Declan Morgan re-listed the appeal for November 4.
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