PPS statement on sentencing in Joleen Corr case

02 July 2020

Michael O’Connor has today been sentended to serve a minimum period of 16 years before he can be considered for release by the Parole Commissioners for the murder of Joleen Corr. 

Lynne Carlin, an Assistant Director in the Public Prosecution Service, said: “I want to commend the courage with which Joleen Corr’s family has endured the painful wait for justice since Michael O’Connor brutally attacked her in December 2016.   

“This was a violent assault on a defenceless young woman in her own home. O’Connor, who was Joleen’s former partner, attacked her with such force that she was left with catastrophic head injuries. 

“After a period in hospital, Joleen was transferred home where she was lovingly cared for by her devoted family before she passed away in April 2018 following a High Court decision to withdraw artificial hydration and nutrition. 

“It was in these unusual and distressing circumstances that we worked with the PSNI to review the original charges of attempted murder and grievous bodily harm with intent and upgraded the charges to one of murder. This is the first case in which a murder conviction has followed the withdrawal of artificial hydration and nutrition from a victim of a violent crime. 

“Together with police we built the strongest possible case against O’Connor, which resulted in him pleading guilty to murder. 

“I want to pay tribute to Joleen’s family for the dignified and positive way in which they have engaged with us throughout this process.  

“While her family, including her young son, continue to try to cope with this devastating loss, I hope that this guilty verdict will bring some comfort to them.”