Died 25th December 2012
Charmaine Macmuiris (37), from Carmarthan, Wales, was beaten and stabbed to death on 25th December 2012 at her boyfriend’s home, in Maes yr Ysgol, also in Carmarthan. She was a mother of three children.
David Thomas O’Sullivan (28) admitted Ms Macmuiris’ murder at Swansea Crown Court. He had previously denied the killing, but changed his plea just before the trial began. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and must serve at least 14 years.
Ms Macmuiris had been in a relationship with her killer for only 3 weeks.
The court heard that Ms Macmuiris had been looking forward to celebrating Christmas with her three children, Hannah (20), Ruby (15), and Keilan (12) and toddler granddaughter Pixie.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Ms Macmuiris’s mother Christine said: “She was taken in the most cruellest of ways on the most cruellest of days.” She added: “Charmaine has been robbed of her life. She was a much loved mother, daughter, sister and auntie and we have been devastated by her lose and the shocking manner of her death.”
The court was told that Ms Macmuiris had been wrapping presents for her children before O’Sullivan persuaded her to go for a drink on Christmas Eve. During the course of the evening, there was a disagreement and Ms Macmuiris left after O’Sullivan threw a part-full pint glass over her. However, both were later spotted on CCTV walking towards O’Sullivan’s home.
The court heard he later punched her in the face when she was in the lounge of his house before stabbing her at least 10 times in the bedroom. He then went the pub and returned to eat pizza.
It was reported that while Ms Macmuiris was bleeding to death, her daughter sent a text pleading for her mother to come back home for Christmas.
Police officers went to the house on Christmas Eve after hearing reports of a disturbance, but O’Sullivan told them “everything was OK”.
Prosecutor Patrick Harrington QC told the court: ‘When police officers asked him about cuts to his arm he said he had punched a hole in the wall. A little later he was seen standing outside his home by neighbours, he said he and his girlfriend had argued and he had hit her and she was lying on the bed. But he had not merely hit her, he had stabbed her to death.”
The police were called again on Christmas Day, but only after O’Sullivan’s parents arrived at his home.
Mr Harrington said it was clear that there were “strong indications there was more than one assault”. He added “After, he left the home and went to two pubs and drank lager and bought a pizza – he returned to the address of the murder and ate his pizza”.
The court heard that after a relationship which had lasted only three weeks, O’Sullivan had decided Ms Macmuiris was ‘cheating’ with a male friend. He sent threatening text messages to the man and his family on the night of the murder. Mr Harrington QC said: “Even before that time he showed himself to be possessive and jealous towards her.”
Judge Eleri Rees told him: “This was a vicious and brutal killing. There may have been more than one assault – there is physical evidence of a struggle with blood stains in a variety of locations. You used a kitchen knife to attack Charmaine and death would not have been instantaneous or the result of any one wound or blow. At some point her daughter tried to text her mother and you tried to respond but in a clumsy mistake you sent a text to another person. This was the most callous behaviour to show to someone who you purported to love.”
Speaking after the case, Ed Beltrami, chief prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wales, said: “Today, David O’Sullivan finally admitted his responsibility for a senseless and brutal assault that led to the tragic death of Charmaine Macmuiris. He added “Only O’Sullivan himself can truly know what caused him to carry out such a vicious attack on an entirely innocent victim. What is certain is that those close to Charmaine continue to deal with the truly awful consequences of what he did.”
Mr Beltrami said O’Sullivan’s guilty plea meant the victim’s family had been spared a full criminal trial process, but added: “We are acutely aware that today’s outcome will not bring an end to their sense of loss.”
Detective Chief Inspector Greg Williams, of Dyfed-Powys Police said: “To lose someone is always difficult but even more so on such a significant day. I welcome today’s conviction and hope that it can be used to bring some closure to those deeply touched by the untimely loss of a loved one.”
However, in a statement, Ms MacMuiris’ family said his 14 year sentence was not long enough. They said: “As a family we would like to thank friends, neighbours, and Dyfed Powys Police for all their help and support that has been provided throughout this difficult time. We are glad that O’Sullivan has been sentenced and we were spared a trial. However we do not feel that a minimum term of 14 years reflects the severity of what he has done. We are all still devastated at losing Charmaine.”
O’Sullivan worked as a bricklayer.
Note: This report was taken from reports in the Daily Mail and on the BBC.