Joan Vickers was 43 years old when she was murdered in April 2009. She had been stabbed several times in the bedroom of her home in the East Wall area of Dublin. Gardái were alerted to the incident when two men walked into Raheny Garda Station at about 6am on the morning of 20th April. An ambulance was called and went to the victim’s home on Shemalier Road. Joan was still alive when the ambulance crew reached her but efforts to save her failed and she was pronounced dead at about 6.45am. Joan was a mother of four and grandmother. Three of Joan’s children lived at the family home as well as her elderly father.
One of the men who presented himself at Raheny station was immediately arrested and held in connection with the murder. Joan’s husband, Brian Vickers, appeared in court on 22nd April charged with the murder of his wife. He was remanded in custody. Some media reports suggested that there had been a history of violence in the marriage and that Joan had taken out a barring order at some stage. At her funeral, Joan was described as the best mother anyone could ask for. After initially pleading not guilty, Brian Vickers changed his plea to guilty two days before his trial was due to start in June 2010. The court heard that the couple had been together since they were 16. Brian Vickers was described as a jealous man which led to ‘periods of volatility towards his wife’. The couple had been out socialising earlier in the evening but he attacked her in the bedroom of their home between 2-4am. Joan Vickers had defensive wounds on her hands.
Outside the court, Joan’s brother Stephen said that her horrific death would live with them for ever and that Joan had been a very popular and respected woman. He asked the court to send a message to the ‘cowards who victimise women’. Brian Vickers was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Joan is one of the 78 women who have been killed by their partners of ex-partners in 1996. Women's Aid remembered these women in a moment's silence outside the Dail on Thursday, 20th November 2014.
Remembering Stolen Lives
Reference: Women's Aid Female Homicide Media Watch, 1996-September 2014