Woman admits murder of Tony Browne in domestic abuse case

Anthony Tony Browne
Tony Browne

A woman has been jailed for life for the murder of her boyfriend. Anthony Browne (54), known as Tony, was stabbed in his Poleglass home in October 2022 and died in hospital from his injuries. His partner Wiktoria Maksymowicz appeared at Belfast Crown Court via a videolink with Hydebank, where she admitted three offences 'aggravated by reason of involving domestic abuse' which she had previously denied.

Her barrister Gavan Duffy KC told Mr Justice O'Hara that he had consulted with his client and following this, he asked that she be re-arraigned. The Polish national, from Woodside Park in Dunmurry, was then addressed on the link by a court clerk and was charged that on October 14, 2022 she murdered Mr Browne in an offence aggravated by reason of involving domestic abuse. When asked "do you now plead guilty or not guilty?", Maksymowicz replied "guilty." She was further charged with both possessing a knife on a Glider Bus and of assaulting Mr Browne the day before his murder, on October 13, 2022. These offences were also aggravated by reason of involving domestic abuse and when charged with the two counts, Maksymowicz replied "guilty" to both. When a fourth charge of possessing cannabis on October 14, 2022 was put her, she admitted this charge too. Crown barrister Frank O'Donoghue KC said the pleas were "acceptable to the prosecution" and added that he would now be seeking Victim Impact Statements from Mr Browne's family ahead of the Tariff Hearing. As relatives and friends of the deceased sat in the public gallery, Mr Duffy told the court his client wished to apologise "for the damage and harm she has caused." He said: "During the course of my consultation with the defendant this week, she had indicated a desire to say something for the benefit of the family of the deceased. "I indicated I felt it was more appropriate that is something that is conveyed through her counsel - but what she wanted to convey was that she fully accepts and understands the considerable anger of Mr Browne's family, and that she knows and accepts that it is unlikely that they will ever forgive her for her actions. "She went on to indicate that she felt had it not been for her consumption of drugs and alcohol, these offences wouldn't have occurred. "What she does say is that she is truly sorry for the damage and the harm she has caused, is sorry for what happened to Tony and if there was any way she could change what has happened she would, but obviously she can't other than accept her responsibility. Mr Duffy added that defence reports compiled on Maksymowicz will be provided ahead of sentencing. Mr Justice O'Hara listed the Tariff Hearing for Thursday June 27. The senior judge then spoke to the defendant via the link and said: "Ms Maksymowicz you have pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Browne in October 2022. You have also pleaded guilty to a number of other offences. "In due course, at the end of June, a full sentencing hearing will take place but for today, because you have pleaded guilty to murder I must now impose upon you a sentence of life imprisonment. "The further hearing which takes place in June will decide what the minimum period you spend in custody is before your release will be considered by the Parole Commissioners. "But as of today you are sentenced to life imprisonment and a further issue about sentencing will be considered and debated at the hearing on the 27th of June, in advance of which I will receive Victim Impact Statements from Mr Browne's family and friends on what they have to say and what they want to tell me about Mr Browne and the affect on which his murder has had on them." Mr Justice O'Hara then asked her "do you understand?" and Maksymowicz replied "yes I do."

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