Monday 29 May 2017

Accused admits killing pregnant girlfriend

Stephen Cahoon (42), with an address at Harvey Street, Derry, Northern Ireland, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Quigley at Cornshell Fields in Derry on July 26, 2008
Stephen Cahoon (42), with an address at Harvey Street, Derry, Northern Ireland, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Quigley at Cornshell Fields in Derry on July 26, 2008

Daniel Hickey

The trial of a man accused of murdering a woman pregnant with his child has heard that he has admitted killing her, but denies her murder.

Jean Teresa Quigley (30) was pregnant at the time of the alleged murder, a jury at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin heard yesterday.

Stephen Cahoon (42), with an address at Harvey Street, Derry, Northern Ireland, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Quigley at Cornshell Fields in Derry on July 26, 2008.

Micheal O'Higgins SC, defending, told the jury of eight men and four women that Mr Cahoon had admitted killing Ms Quigley.

"He has acknowledged he killed Jean Quigley," Mr O'Higgins said, adding: "This does not amount to an admission he's guilty of murder."

Earlier, opening the trial, Patrick Marrinan SC, prosecuting, told the jury that Ms Quigley, a mother-of-four, met Mr Cahoon on St Patrick's Day, 2008, and they quickly formed a relationship.

The jury will hear evidence that they were "a loving, tactile couple", he said.

"The relationship appears to have blossomed," Mr Marrinan continued.

"Jean Quigley became pregnant. She was carrying the child of Stephen Cahoon and at the time of her death was carrying the child."

The jury will hear that the relationship "deteriorated" in July 2008 and that, during a row, Ms Quigley told Mr Cahoon to leave her house and to hand over the key.

The prosecution will present a series of text messages back and forth between Mr Cahoon and Ms Quigley, the court heard.

Mr Marrinan told the jury that, on the night Ms Quigley died, she met a friend and shortly after 8pm a taxi driver brought her home.

"This was the last time she was seen alive," Mr Marrinan told the jury.

Evidence will be heard from a neighbour of Ms Quigley that, at either 1am or 3am, he heard "a wailing sound" coming from Ms Quigley's house and "a man's voice in the background", the court heard.

Evidence from the deceased woman's mother will be that she found her daughter, "lying on the bed, naked, partially covered with a quilt".

The jury will hear that Mr Cahoon's DNA profile matched DNA taken from Ms Quigley's house and that blood on a T-shirt found in Mr Cahoon's flat was Ms Quigley's blood.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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