Thursday 22 August 2019

Woman accused of murder allegedly told teenagers not to call ambulance after she stabbed boyfriend four times

Paula Farrell pictured at the Central Criminal Court Pic: Court Collins.
Paula Farrell pictured at the Central Criminal Court Pic: Court Collins.
Wayne McQuillan pictured shortly before his death

Natasha Reid

A murder trial has heard that a Louth woman allegedly told teenagers not to call an ambulance after the wounded boyfriend she admits killing asked them to do so.

The Central Criminal Court jury was hearing the opening speech today in the trial of the 46-year-old, who is charged with murdering the 30-year-old in her Louth home on New Year’s morning five years ago.

Paula Farrell of Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Wayne McQuillan, but guilty to his manslaughter by stabbing him four times at that address on January 1, 2014.

The plea was not accepted and she went on trial this afternoon.

Wayne McQuillan pictured shortly before his death
Wayne McQuillan pictured shortly before his death

Gerard Clarke SC told the jury that the accused was 10 years older than her boyfriend at the time of the killing. The deceased, known as Quilly, was living with his parents elsewhere in Drogheda but often stayed overnight with Ms Farrell, who lived with her young child.

“It seems neither paid much attention to the recommended daily allowance of alcohol,” he added.

The barrister said that the couple had been drinking quite a lot in the house that New Year’s Eve and that an argument had developed between them.

“During the course of that argument, Paula Farrell took a large kitchen knife from one of those blocks with knives, and stabbed him a total of four times,” he said, explaining that the jury would see the knife in due course.

“Three of them penetrated the flesh of Wayne McQuillan and struck bone. They weren’t fatal,” he said. “But, one stab with the knife did penetrate into the body and you’ll hear it was a downward blow.”

He explained that the knife had cut quite a large blood vessel, about the diameter of an average little finger. The wound caused massive bleeding internally and externally.

Mr Clarke said that the pathologist would testify that the knife had then penetrated the left lung, and a lot of air had also escaped.

“It would seem that blow may have been struck in the kitchen,” he said, explaining that the jury would see photographs from the scene.

“You’ll see significant quantities of blood in the hall to the front door, because he made his way from the kitchen to the front door,” he continued.

The prosecutor told the jury that there were some teenagers outside in a green area and that Mr McQuillan had shouted that he had been stabbed and asked them to call an ambulance.

“Paula Farrell came to the door and said, a witness will say, ‘Don’t call an ambulance’. She had a tea towel in her hands and was cleaning her hands,” he stated. “It seems she went back into the house and began to clean up.”

Mr Clarke said that the gardai later found the large knife used in the sink, and that there had been ‘some obvious attempt’ to wipe up blood.

He explained that people had called both an ambulance and the gardai. However, the ambulance was about 20 minutes away so the gardai took Mr McQuillan to hospital in a garda car.

He went into cardiac arrest on the way but was revived once there and staff removed 1.8 litres of blood from his chest. They were about to carry out a CT scan on him, when he suffered another cardiac arrest.

This time, he couldn’t be saved and was pronounced dead at 4.29am. His cause of death was massive internal bleeding.

The trial continues tomorrow morning before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury of eight women and four men.

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