Yvonne McCann was killed in May 2020 by her husband, Thomas McCann. The couple had been together since they were teenagers, although their relationship had soured somewhat after Thomas began an affair and Yvonne subsequently had a relationship with another man in 2013.
However, on the day that Thomas killed Yvonne, it seems they were having an argument over a frozen bag of chips – a neighbour, hearing the commotion from their house texted Yvonne to see if everything was ok – and Yvonne replied telling the neighbour what the row was about. It seems Thomas killed her shortly after she sent that text.
After he killed her, Thomas texted their children from Yvonne’s phone, clearly trying to pretend as if she was still alive. When her body was discovered in a park he was arrested. His defence claimed that he had never planned to kill Yvonne, and that the row between the pair had simply escalated out of control.
The idea that Thomas ‘lost control’ (a defence that often mitigates a murder charge) was played on heavily by the defence and Thomas himself.
And yet, Thomas’s behaviour – his calculated disposal of Yvonne’s body and pretence that she was still alive – seems remarkably planned and controlled.
As a couple, Yvonne and Thomas had seemed to all outsiders to have a fairly good relationship – and he was certainly loved by his children. Yet this was used as a significant part of the defence.
Why any of these points should mitigate a murder charge is unclear.
McCann was ultimately sentenced for murder, but there is a clear line, pursued by the defence, which seeks to frame him as someone who just ‘lost control’ and wasn’t responsible for his action.