THIS is the man who has admitted killing a pregnant woman but denies he murdered her, a court has heard.
The woman was pregnant with the accused man’s child at the time of the alleged murder, the prosecution told the jury at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin yesterday.
Stephen Cahoon (aged 42) with an address at Harvey Street, Derry, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Jean Teresa Quigley (aged 30) at Cornshell fields in Derry on July 26, 2008.
Mr Micheal O’Higgins SC, defending, told the jury of eight men and four women that Mr Cahoon admits to 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 30-year-old 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.
The jury will be told that on the same night Mr Cahoon was out with friends.
“He appeared within himself somewhat and somewhat quiet,” Mr Marrinan said.
The court will hear that Mr Cahoon went to his flat, ordered a taxi to Cornshell Fields and that the taxi driver didn’t drop him at Ms Quigley’s house but at the entrance to the cul de sac on which her house was located.
The court will also hear that, later that morning, at 6am, Mr Cahoon ordered a taxi from a bus shelter not far from Ms Quigley’s house, and he gave his friend’s name instead of his own name.
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 court heard.
The jury will be told that somebody had forced their way into the house.
Mr Marrinan further stated that post mortem evidence will show that Ms Quigley had received two blows to the top of the head, there were marks and bruises on her limbs and that she had been strangled.
“She died of suffocation from manual strangling,” he said.
The jury will hear that, after the PSNI discovered there had been a falling out between Mr Cahoon and Ms Quigley, they went to his flat with a search warrant but there was no sign of Mr Cahoon.
“They found a T-shirt with bloodstains,” Mr Marrinan said.
The court will be told that during a forensic examination of Ms Quigley’s house, urine was found in the toilet, from which a DNA profile was taken.
Evidence will be presented that, on August 5th, Mr Cahoon was found in Donegal town, where he told two gardaí, “I’m the man you’re looking for.”
The jury will hear that Mr Cahoon’s DNA profile matched the DNA taken from Ms Quigley’s house and that the blood on the T-shirt found in Mr Cahoon’s flat was Ms Quigley’s blood.
Mr Marrinan said, “One of the most important formal admissions is that [Mr Cahoon] killed Jean Quigley.”
He told the jury, “It is not a case of whodunnit but a case of what was the intention of the accused man at the time of the killing. What was his intention at the time?”
The trial today.Tags: