IN THE CLEAR |
Ex-model accused of failing to notify police as partner lay decomposing in flat has charges dropped
Catherine Young insisted she has turned her life around and she says she hopes to tie the knot in the near future.
18th December 2022
A former model spoke of her joy yesterday after learning that charges were withdrawn of her knowingly preventing the burial of her former partner whose badly decomposed body was found in their home.
And Catherine Young has found new love and is now looking forward to building a new life with her soon-to-be husband.
Once branded the ‘Black Widow’ because two of her former lovers died of drugs overdoses, she says she has finally put her troubled life behind her.
In an interview with the Sunday World this week, hair stylist Catherine remained tight-lipped over the identity of the new man in her life.
But she insisted she has turned her life around and she says she hopes to tie the knot in the near future.
“I’ll be married in a matter of months and I’m looking forward to it. They used to say: ‘don’t get too close to Catherine Young because you’ll end up dead!’ And some people even called me the ‘Black Widow’.
“But all of that is in the past. I’ve rebuilt my life and I’m looking forward to my wedding,” she said.
Catherine is busy running her own charity which caters for people with depression. And she’s also rebuilding her once lucrative hair, beauty and fitness business.
A year ago, the 36-year-old mum of two was accused of using her former boyfriend’s bank card to go on a spending spree while he lay dead in their former home.
Hospital worker Barrie Devlin’s badly decomposed body was found stretched out on a bed in a rented flat in Bayview Terrace in Derry.
The 36-year-old father of two had been lying for more than a month when police discovered his remains after a tip-off.
It later emerged Devlin had died of a drugs overdose and alcohol abuse.
And when Young appeared in court, she was charged with preventing Devlin’s burial and a number of other related charges, including stealing car keys belonging to another man from a house in Ballymoney.
A police officer told the court he had viewed CCTV footage of Young visiting a property at Bayview Terrace off Derry’s Strand Road, from where she removed items from a postbox.
The officer accepted Young hadn’t entered Devlin’s flat, adding that it was possible to see his lifeless body through a window at the entrance to the building.
Catherine pleaded not guilty to all charges and she was released on her own bail of £750.
And now she‘s been told all charges have been withdrawn and she’s free to get on with her life.
Yesterday, Catherine told the Sunday Worldshe was thrilled to receive the good news.
“This is the best news I’ve had in a long time. I knew the truth would come out in the end.
“This Christmas will be the first time in seven years I haven’t been behind bars and I’m determined to make the most off it.
“When Barrie Devlin died, I was in hospital. And the truth of the matter is Barrie had driven me to the hospital because I was suffering from depression.
“I remember on the way to Holywell Hospital in Antrim, Barrie said he was glad I was going for treatment, because his mental health wasn’t too good either.
“I tried to text him from hospital, but I couldn’t get any response. I even put a thing on Facebook asking if anyone had seen him.
“It was only weeks later I learned he had died. To tell you the truth, I just thought Barrie was like every other man I’d known – I thought he had dumped me,” said Catherine.
Originally from Ballymoney, Catherine moved to Coleraine after she met a man she described as the “love of her life”.
Catherine moved in with local man Aaron Brown. But he too had addiction problems which often led to difficulties at home.
In a three-month period, police called to the couple’s flat 121 times.
Catherine says she was once arrested on suspicion of damaging her partner’s eye socket.
And it was while she was in custody, 30-year-old Aaron was found dead at a flat in The Heights area of Coleraine. He too had overdosed on drugs.
“I suppose you could say I was unlucky in love, but I don’t have any criminal convictions. I’m glad to say my luck has changed and I’m now looking forward to a more settled life with my new husband.”
Catherine explained how she set up a charity which offers 24-hour help to people suffering with anxiety and depression.
“I called the charity after my daughters Arianna and Ianthes. We are based in Belfast city centre, but we offer help right around the world.
“We hope to buy a new home in Ballymena and I’m also looking for premises for my hair, beauty and fitness business,” said Catherine.
She added: “I’m aware I burnt a lot of bridges in the past, but I’m determined to rebuild everything and do the best I can.”