TRAGEDY OF LITTLE TADGH; Tug of love over Irish kid after mother killed his dad with a lethal injection.
Little Tadgh McCarthy, whose grandparents were Irish, now faces an uncertain future.
His mother, who went by her maiden name Deborah Winzar, killed paraplegic Dominic McCarthy because she thought he was having an affair with another woman.
The 36-year-old ward sister injected wheelchair-bound Dominic, 34, with a lethal shot of insulin, fearing that a fling would loosen her hold on his pounds 415,000 investments.
But she blundered when she miscalculated the dose needed to kill her 20-stone husband.
He was later found alive but in a coma and rushed to hospital where blood tests revealed the huge overdose.
He never recovered consciousness and died nine days later.
A senior detective said: "Had he arrived there dead as Winzar had intended then those blood tests would never have been carried out.
"She could have got away with murder."
Winzar was jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court last week following a six week trial.
The following day, Tadgh's uncle, landscape gardener Patrick McCarthy, 45, from St Albans, Hertfordshire applied for him to be made a ward of court.
Winzar's family currently have care of Tadgh and are fighting for custody.
Patrick said: "We want his future to be safeguarded by the courts and we will accept the court's decision, whatever it is.
"But we want Tadgh to have contact with us and to be able to go over to Ireland and visit his relatives there, as his father would have wished.
"We want him to keep in touch with his Irish roots.
"Since his father was murdered we have not been allowed any access to him. We don't even have a picture of him. But hopefully that will change soon."
Dominic's late father Albert came from Tralee and his mother Winnie from Mountrath in Co Laois.
They moved to England and settled in Hertfordshire after the Second World War.
Albert worked on building sites and Winnie became a qualified psychiatric nurse.
Dominic's older brother, also called Albert, 47, moved to Cork as a teenager and still lives there.
He runs a hi-fi import and distribution business.
Dominic, known as Nic by his friends, was found unconscious on the bed in the couple's pounds 100,000 converted chalet in Stoneley, Cambridgeshire in January 1997.
A former psychiatric nurse, he was paralysed from the ribs down in a motorbike crash in 1984.
Five years later he received a payout of pounds 650,000, most of which he invested.
The year after the accident he married Winzar.
Dominic managed to conquer his disability. He took a social work degree and got a job working with the physically and mentally ill at the drop-in Kingfisher Centre in Peterborough.
It was there that he and social worker Nadine Jay became close working colleagues.
Nadine has refused to talk about the tragedy but strongly denied to police that they were anything other than good friends.
A senior source close to the investigation said: "You have to look at it objectively. She was young, fit and attractive. He was 20-stone and in a wheelchair.
"She may have been friendly and sympathetic but it was not a relationship that was going anywhere, whatever Dominic or his wife may have thought."
But Winzar, known to pals as Dee, admitted in court that she believed her husband and Nadine were starting an affair.
On the night of the murder, Dominic visited Nadine's home in Peterborough after lying to his wife that he was working late.
Winzar told Birmingham Crown Court: "He told me that he had things to do at work and that was why he was going to be late."
Prosecutor Stephen Coward QC said: "Can you think of any reason why Nic would lie to you about where he had been that night?"
Winzar replied: "The only thing I can think of was that it was the beginning of the affair and he hadn't got round to telling me."
Mr Coward said: "I suggest that something happened that night which made you angry and made you feel that you were getting the sticky end of the deal looking after this chap all these years."
In his summing up Mr Justice Owen told the jury: "There has been a suggestion of jealousy because Dominic had gone to Nadine Jay's that evening and stayed for about one-and-a-half hours or thereabouts.
"That, of course, is a factor. Whether it is an important factor is for you to say.
"It was not suggested that any kind of affair was going on. It is suggested that maybe she [Deborah Winzar] thought it was the beginning of an affair and therefore wanted him out of the way."
That evening, January 30, 1997, Winzar went to a staff party at Kettering General Hospital, Northants where she worked.
She stayed overnight with a friend.
The next day she made a "most unusual" call to the nursery where the couple's son Tadgh, then three, was looked after during the day.
When told the boy had not arrived she asked the childminder to check her home.
Husband Dominic was found in a coma with the boy he adored running around the house.
As he clung to life in intensive care, Winzar again tried twice to kill him.
On one occasion she used her medical knowledge to switch off a vital pump during a visit.
Two days later she leaked air into a tube and disabled an alarm which would have alerted ward staff to the danger.
Following Dominic's death the police discovered that Winzar had, without his knowledge, changed six investments he had taken out into her name.
She had been in line to gain the pounds 415,000 remaining from his damages settlement but became aware that he was in the process of changing his will to leave all the cash to his son and family.
No longer in love with her husband and greedy for the cash she felt was duly hers, Winzar decided to murder him before the will could be altered.
She used her nursing skills to inject the insulin into the lower part of his 20-stone body.
She later claimed that his death could have been suicide but this outraged his family and friends.
They said he had everything to live for despite being wheelchair-bound.
He had a specially-adapted car and house to make himself as independent as possible.
And with the help of a fertility clinic Dee gave birth to Tadgh in 1994. It became obvious to everyone that Dominic doted on the boy, spending as much time as possible with him.
His family believe that, before allowing herself to become pregnant, Winzar made her husband agree that he would look after the child.
Dominic suspected that she had affairs during their marriage and also a pregnancy scare but was prepared to turn a blind eye as long as she stayed with him and their young son.
As their marriage broke down, the couple went for a make-or-break holiday to Florida a year before the murder.
But the trip was not a success.
On his return, a despondent Nic told his family that things had not changed and that, at Dee's request, they no longer had sex.
Dominic was the youngest of four children. His father Albert died when he was 14. His mother Winnie died last October.
He was an avid West Ham fan and well-known at the club. After his death his family received a card of condolence signed by the players.
He left school at 16 and took a series of casual jobs including work at a supermarket.
At 18 he began training to become a psychiatric nurse but was injured before he could complete the course.
Elder brother Pat, 45, said: "He was always a very caring bloke, great with people. He was my brother and my best friend.
"After the road accident he was taken to hospital and given 60 pints of blood. It was touch and go but he survived although he was left permanently disabled.
"But he was incredible. He came to terms with it quicker than any of us.
"He had two choices. He could sink or he could just get on with it. He chose to get on with it and became an example of how life should be lived.
"He was a great bloke to go to with a problem and, after his accident, he was an inspiration. He was determined to have a family and was both mother and father to Tadgh. We now want the boy to be loved and cared for as Dominic would have wished.
"He overcame so much. It is tragic that, having conquered adversity, he should die in the way he did.
"Our thoughts about Winzar are pretty much what you would expect. There is a fair amount of anger there.
"It left a huge hole in our lives when he died and, when our mum died last October, we believe it was of a broken heart."
Detective Inspector Burt Deane of Cambridgeshire Police said: "The motive that we found was one of jealousy towards Nadine Jay.
"There was a lot of money at stake following Dominic's crash and Deborah stood to lose it all if Dominic was to leave her.
"I also think today about Tadgh, who lost not only a father but a mother.
"My over-riding thoughts, however, throughout this investigation have lain with a young man who successfully overcame significant odds and built himself a career, despite being partially paralysed in a road crash.
"He dedicated his career to helping others and those whose lives he touched have lost not only a friend but an ally too."
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 24, 2000|
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