Paul Thomas Ryan, 66, of Tweed Heads has been found guilty of murder over the stabbing death of his former partner.
Paul Thomas Ryan, 66, of Tweed Heads has been found guilty of murder over the stabbing death of his former partner. Liana Boss

MURDERED: Woman was 'begging for her life'

A TWEED Heads man has been found guilty of murdering his former partner in a savage stabbing in the home the pair shared.

Paul Thomas Ryan, 66, stood silently as Justice Richard Button handed down his decision before the Supreme Court in Lismore this afternoon.

RHe had pleaded not guilty to murder when he was arraigned in late September and fought the charge on a partial defence.Defence barrister Jason Watts relied on an argument Ryan had impairments of his ability to control himself and to understand events.

Mr Watts argued those impairments were so substantial they warranted a reduction in charge from murder to manslaughter.yan had faced a judge-only trial for the violent killing of his former partner Marie Van Beers. 

Justice Button found Ryan had some level of impairment of both capacities, but he was not satisfied either impairment reached this level of substantiality.

He condemned Ryan's actions.

Ryan had attended Tweed Heads Local Court that day, November 12, 2018, in answer to a police AVO application to protect Ms Van Beers.

An interim AVO was in place and a later court date was set.

The following day, Ms Van Beers was expected to leave their Brett St, Tweed Heads unit to be with her new partner.
The court heard she had planned to leave earlier but car troubles delayed her.

After court, Ryan attended Tweed Heads Bowls Club twice throughout the day. 

The final time he returned home, he took his former spouse's life in an attack Justice Button said would have been "terrifying" and "excruciatingly painful".

"Her death was utterly undeserved," Justice Button said.

"She was begging for her life, pleas that were mercilessly disregarded."

Justice Button noted his decision should reflect community sentiment, in lieu of a jury.

"On all of the evidence, I believe the judgement of the community would be firmly condemnatory," he said.
"So is mine."

A sentencing hearing will be held before the Supreme Court in Sydney on December 4, with sentencing set to follow on December 11. 


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