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Woman (42) stabbed partner (30) four times with kitchen knife, murder trial told


Wayne McQuillan

Wayne McQuillan

Jenny Matthews/Newsfile.ie

Wayne McQuillan

A jury has heard how a 42-year-old Louth woman accused of murdering her partner in Louth last year allegedly stabbed the deceased four times with a large kitchen knife.

Paula Farrell with an address at Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, Co Louth is charged with murdering Wayne McQuillan (30) at her home on January 1, 2014.

On Monday at the Central Criminal Court, Ms Farrell pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr McQuillan.

In his opening speech, Prosecution Counsel Mr Gerard Clarke SC told the jury of five men and seven women that in the early hours of January 1 2014 Ms Farrell who was then forty years of age allegedly killed the deceased by stabbing him four times with a "large kitchen knife."

The court heard that Ms Farrell and Mr McQuillan who was known as "Quilly" had been in a relationship for a year and he was ten years younger than her and lived with his parents.

"You will hear from Mr McQuillan's mother that when the two started going out, he stayed one night a week but that increased. Ms Farrell had a young son of 7 years of age living with her," said Mr Clarke.

Prosecution counsel said the couple regularly "overindulged" in drink and particularly on this night in question which was New Year's Eve.

Mr Clarke said an argument then broke out between the pair at Ms Farrell's home in the early hours of the morning of January 1 2014.

"Ms Farrell took a large kitchen knife from a large block of knifes and stabbed Mr McQuillan four times and one stab was fatal. You will hear evidence from the State Pathologist that three stab wounds hit the bone and another downward stab into the left shoulder cut an important sub clavicle vein, this is a large vein in the body which led to massive bleeding," said Mr Clarke.

Counsel for the DPP then told the jury they would hear in the course of the trial from various witnesses who passed the house at Rathmullen Park on the night when Mr McQuillan appeared at the door.

"A number of witnesses thought he had oil on his upper body but it was a massive quantity of blood. He shouted at teenagers outside to get an ambulance. You will hear Paula Farrell stood at the door and told them not to call an ambulance.  She went back into the house and began to clean up and the knife she used was found in the sink," added Mr Clarke.

The court heard Mr McQuillan was then brought to hospital in a garda car but was already in cardiac arrest when he arrived.

"He was revived after some effort and it took 10/15 minutes to resuscitate him. You will hear from a consultant who drained the blood from the left chest of Mr McQuillan and how in total 1.8 litres of blood came out of his chest and had escaped externally. He was revived and as part of the medical procedure they carried out a CT scan but while he was in the scanning room he suffered another cardiac arrest and he couldn't be resuscitated and was declared dead at 4.39am," concluded Mr Clarke.

"When you hear the evidence we believe you will have no doubt that Paula Farrell is guilty of murder," said Mr Clarke.

Prosecution Counsel Mr Maurice Coffey BL then called Garda Dave O'Leary attached to the Crime Scene Investigation Unit in Louth who told the jury he found two knives in the sink, one larger than the other which he then took possession of.  He told the court that the larger knife was approximately six inches or 200 mm's in length.

Gda O'Leary also told the court he seized a blue and white striped man's shirt from the scene which had stab marks and four buttons missing from it.

Defence Counsel Mr Derek Kenneally SC then asked Gda O'Leary did he notice a trouser belt of some sort on the floor of the living room in the house which the guard agreed with.

The court then heard from Gda O'Leary how the kitchen at Rathmullen Park showed signs of disturbance including the bottom of a cooker out of place, part of a light switch broken as well as a set of salt cellars on the floor.

Several witnesses who are under the age of 18 were then called by the prosecution to give evidence and told Mr Clarke about walking past the house on the night and seeing a man coming out, calling for them to ring an ambulance and collapsing on the grass.

"I thought he was covered in oil or liquid but I then saw blood from his neck and called the ambulance. Wayne just kept saying boys I'm going, I'm after been stabbed, I'm after been stabbed, I'm gone”," one male school student said.

When asked by Mr Clarke if anyone else came to the door of the house, the student replied: "A woman came to the door and said there is nothing wrong with him, don’t mind him, you must be mad ringing an ambulance. She said it two or three times I think," he added.

The court then heard as on lookers tried to stop the blood, the gardai arrived on the scene and soon afterwards put the injured man into the back of their squad car.

Mr Kenneally put it to the male student if he remembered seeing Mr McQuillan's trousers around his ankles and his "jocks" around his waist and his private parts exposed which he agreed with.

Mr Clarke then called another witness by the name of Keith Brady who had been at a party in a neighbouring house in the estate and who had spoken to Paula Farrell on the night.

"She appeared at the front door of the house and I asked her what happened and she said they had a fight," said Mr Brady.

Defence counsel put it to Mr Brady that when he spoke with her, Ms Farrell told him she had got a head butt which was visible to him, Mr Brady agreed with this.

"Did you also notice she had a bite mark on her right cheek and bruising on both sides of her neck?" Mr Kenneally put it to Mr Brady.

"No" replied Mr Brady.

After lunch a witness statement by Paula Farrell's daughter Seana Farrell was read to the court by prosecution counsel Mr Coffey.

This statement was taken by Garda Carl Mannion who was attached to Drogheda Garda Station on January 2 2014.

"I heard a knock at the door and someone saying your ma has after stabbed someone. Quilly was destroyed in blood, there was blood everywhere. When I went to the house I could see my ma standing at the front door, she was crying and had her hands over her face, saying what had she done, she was saying "he attacked me, I didn't mean it," read Mr Coffey.

"She was standing over Quilly saying “Sorry I didn't mean it". His trousers were pulled down to his knees. My seven year old brother was sleeping upstairs and I wanted to get my little brother sorted, so everything else was a blur to me," continued reading the prosecution counsel.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and is expected to last two and half weeks.

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