There’s a trial going on in which David Bourke is accused of murdering his wife, Jean Gilbert.
Now, before anyone jumps up and accuses me of being a misogynist, or of condoning violence, let me be clear about this. I do not in any way condone this killing. It was a crime. It was wrong, and David Bourke had no right to inflict violence or coercion of any sort on his wife.
However, there are interesting aspects to the case that are worth exploring, and I’d like to know what people think about them.
The facts don’t seem to be in question. He did kill his wife and the only decision the jury has to make is whether he should be convicted of murder or manslaughter. It’s also not in question that he carried out the killing after his wife became involved with another man and told Bourke to leave the home. The new man, it seems, was to provide a replacement father-figure for the three children once David Bourke had left the home as requested.
Workmates testified that Bourke used to talk about his wife and family on work nights out and that it was obvious how much he cared for them. The court was told that after June 2007, when his wife informed him about her new lover, he became a different man.
He looked a broken man, one colleague told the court. I just couldn’t believe the difference, just even in appearance. He used to be always clean-shaven. One day he had a lot of stubble. He just seemed to let himself go.
Another colleague testified that He looked like he hadn’t slept in days. He hung his head a lot. His eyes were just sad and teary.
Two months after informing Bourke about the new relationship, his wife returned one morning after spending the night with her new man and David Bourke stabbed her four times in the back, in full view of his children. A brutal killing.
There you have it.
So what do you think was going on in the mind of a man who in June 2007 was an average Joe with three kids but by August had become a wife-killer?
What was the mental process that led to this crime?
UPDATE 30th March 2009
The jury has found David Bourke guilty of murder.
This comment came from somebody associated with Jean Gilbert, and for balance I think it should be be part of the main post:-
I made the mistake of googling for news aticles this evening on the verdict in this case – I wish I hadn’t as I came across and clicked on this link and, of course, couldn’t help myself reading all of the speculation and opinion from you all. We read about and listen to cases like this dispassionately from the sidelines with no involvement with and no relationships to the victims, the accused and the unfortunate family unwantingly pulled into the public eye virtually every week, but what we all forget is that the people involved in these cases all have long term friends, family and loved ones and these are usually the only people who actually know the true story.
I have known Jean for nearly 20 years and David, by association, since they got married. All I would ask you to do is listen to the family impact statement read outside the court. Jeans brother referenced the story that no one has heard. The portrayal of David, in my opinion, as a loving family man, bore very little relationship to the true character of the man and to how he treated both is wife and children over many years. The portrayal of Jean is also so far off the mark it’s incredibly upsetting â€“ she was one of the most loyal, loving, giving, kind, honest and honourable people you would ever have the good fortune to meet.
Several of you astutely and correctly have asked questions on what their relationship had been like over the previous years and what had driven Jean to seek love and solace with another man. You can use your own imaginations to create answers to that and several references were given in the letter that Robert Campion had sent her. I am simply delighted that David is going to prison as a convicted Murderer, that’s what he is, and for what he put Jean and his kids through for several years prior to the terrible thing he did to her on the 28th August 2007 I hope that a few big men take a very great fancy to him in prison and make his life even more miserable and deliver some poetic justice in something that is very far from being poetic.
This is an excerpt from one of the other stories I found tonight â€“ â€œThe 45-year-old woman had died from blood loss and shock as a result of four stab wounds to her back. The deepest measured 14.2 cm. And, as the knife went through her body on each occasion, it had cut through the aorta, both lungs, the spleen and left kidney. It took the pathologist 45 minutes to list the injuries
As a closing comment there are three fantastic kids who have lost Mum, Dad and their childhood.
I’m not going to do any more googling just remember that when you post opinion on these things remember that there are other people out there who are closer to the truth than you. I hope that none of you have to write from real experience on something like this in the future.