Bail for woman charged in connection with death of former husband

A 59-year-woman charged in connection with the death of her former husband in Dublin 25 years ago has been granted bail today.

Father-of-two Christopher Payne, who was aged 38, was attacked at his home, at Rutland Grove, Crumlin, on May 13 1988, by a group of men armed with a hatchet.

Mr Payne, who also suffered from a chronic kidney ailment, was treated in hospital for serious head injuries sustained in the assault, but never recovered and died six months later.

On January 11 last, following her extradition from England, Philomena Coton was remanded in custody after she was charged at Dublin District Court with assault with intent to murder Christopher Payne, and causing grievous bodily harm.

She had replied: “I'm innocent” after she was charged.

She appeared again today at Dublin District Court.

Defence solicitor Ann Brizzell told Judge Victor Blake that Ms Coton has since been granted bail by the High Court.

Judge Blake heard that the prosecution was seeking an adjournment to complete the book of evidence in the case, which will be dealt with by Central Criminal Court when it comes to the trial.

The 59-year-old woman did not address the court and was ordered to appear again in four weeks when she is to be served with the book of evidence.

Mrs Coton, who had been living in Stoke Aldermoor, Coventry, is the second person to face charges following a review of the investigation by the garda cold case unit.

In December 2011, her daughter 40-year-old Sharon Cullen, who now resides in Ballyjamesduff in Co Cavan, had also been charged with assault with intent to murder Christopher Payne, and assaulting him causing grievous bodily harm.

She has brought a High Court challenge aimed at halting her trial and contends she cannot get a fair trial due to the delay in prosecuting her.

In 1989, two youths were jailed for their role in the attack.

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