Detectives from Police Service of Northern Ireland's Major Investigation Team have welcomed the sentence handed down to 34 year old Michael O’Connor for the murder of 27 year old Joleen Corr.
Today, Thursday, 2 July Michael O’Connor was sentenced to life in prison, serving a minimum of 16 years.
Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said: “Following a thorough and painstaking investigation by Police and working collaboratively with the Public Prosecution Service, 34 year old Michael O’Connor is beginning a significant custodial sentence for the murder of Joleen.
“This sentencing comes after a landmark ruling to proceed with a murder charge following the decision by medical professionals and Joleen’s family to withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration from a needless victim of a violent crime. This course of action followed a protracted period within the courts and Joleen subsequently died on Thursday, 26 April 2018.
“Michael O’Connor savagely attacked Joleen and then walked away leaving her alone in her home. Following this attack he took their young son, who was present in the home when his mother was attacked.
“For 16 months Joleen’s family had to watch her suffering and devotedly tended to all her needs. During that time Joleen was unable to communicate with anyone.
“Although today’s sentencing will never bring Joleen back I hope it enables her family to take an important step in the grieving process."
Detective Superintendent Murphy continued: “But today isn’t just about Joleen. Today is also about the very many sufferers of domestic abuse who are forced to live in silence.
“I would appeal to anyone who is experiencing domestic violence, please don’t suffer in silence. Domestic abuse is a terrifying and impactful crime and it is vital that victims know there is help and support available.
“Anyone who is suffering from domestic abuse can contact police on the non-emergency 101 number or 999 in an emergency.
“A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline is also available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual abuse, now or in the past on 0808 802 1414.”
This was the first case in NI where a murder conviction was achieved against a suspect following the withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration by family and medical professionals.
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