Jonathan James Cresswell, 33, of Briar Hill Gardens, Greysteel, has been charged with the murder of Katie Simpson on August 3, 2020.
Katie would have celebrated her 22nd birthday tomorrow, Sunday March 7
Appearing by videolink at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court on Saturday morning, Cresswell confirmed he understood the charge against him.
He is accused of setting up her death to make it appear like sucicide
The court heard Cresswell called an ambulance to the house and said he had found Ms Simpson attempting to take her own life.
She was dressed only in a shirt and underwear and her mobile phone was missing.
She died in Altnagelvin Hospital.
Following his arrest, Jonathan Creswell who was in a relationship with Ms Simpson’s sister, admitted throwing her phone in a field, something he described as “a silly mistake”.
He also told police that he’d been in a sexual relationship with the victim for the previous four years.
A prosecution lawyer said Jonathan Creswell had been in a controlling and coercive relationship with Ms Simpson since she was a young girl.
The lawyer told the court that Katie had a lot to look forward to and her sister was due to give birth.
He said: “Life was looking good for Katie.”
But she died in intensive care, having never regained consciousness.
The defence said that the post-mortem examination report showed her cause of death as pneumonia.
Due to the delay in the examination, the pathologist said that they could not determine if Ms Simpson had been strangled or had hanged.
Cresswell was refused bail on the grounds of risk of reoffending, risk of flight and risk of interference with witnesses and the police investigation.
“I am satisfied that the defendant’s previous conviction regarding a serious domestic assault does give rise to a risk of reoffending when one compares it to the facts of this case, and his previous actions in terms of leaving the jurisdiction when being sought by police also gives rise to a risk of flight,” a district judge ruled.
“His actions since August 3 2020 also gives rise to a concern regarding risk of interference with witnesses and the police investigation.
“I find that they cannot be managed by bail conditions and as a result bail is refused due to risk of reoffending, risk of flight and risk of interference with witnesses and/or police investigation.”
Cresswell will face Derry Magistrates’ Court by videolink from Maghaberry prison on Thursday, April 1.Tags: