February 27, 2024

Man jailed for life for murdering Kilkenny pensioner in her home

A 30-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a Kilkenny woman in her home two years ago.

Trevor Rowe, of Abbey Street, Kilkenny, was convicted by a jury last month of the murder of Anne Butler on March 20, 2020.

Ms Butler’s body was found in her home on Madelyn Street in Kilkenny on 25 March 2020. She had been beaten, stabbed and mutilated and a piece of cardboard was found in the back of her mouth.

Gardaí had gone to the house after Rowe made a number of 999 calls telling them he had murdered a woman five days previously.

CCTV footage showed him heading down Ms Butler’s street at around 9.45pm on the night of March 20 and returning in the other direction around one hour later.

Rowe pleaded not guilty to murder at his trial. His lawyers argued that the amount of drink and drugs he had taken on the day had prevented him from forming an intent to kill Ms Butler. However, the jury took less than an hour and a half to convict him.

Ms Butler’s daughter and other family members told the court of their grief at the nature of her death.

In her victim impact statement, Elayne Butler said her mother’s final moments were tortuous and horrifically painful and everything had been taken away from her – her life, her death, her last rites, her family, her home, and her privacy. She said her mother’s whole being and her legacy seemed tainted.

The court heard Rowe suffered with drug and alcohol dependency and has 31 previous convictions, including drug, burglary and assault offences.

Ms Justice Karen O’Connor imposed the mandatory life sentence for a murder, which she said had “an enormously painful and profound impact”.


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