Northern Ireland

Owen Creaney murder: Shaunean Boyle says she took knife from co-accused

Owen Creaney Image copyright Press Eye

A woman jointly charged with murdering a Lurgan man told police she played no part in the fatal attack and grabbed a knife from her co-accused.

Stephen Thomas Hughes, 29, and Shaunean Boyle, 25, are jointly accused of murdering Owen Creaney in July 2014.

On Monday, the trial heard extracts from a pre-prepared statement Ms Boyle gave to police.

The victim was assaulted in the hallway of Hughes's Moyraverty Court home in the early hours of 3 July, 2014.

It took two days for Mr Creaney, who was disabled and used a walking aid, to die. His body was then dumped into a recycling bin.

Both accused have admitted being present during the attack, but have both denied murder and have blamed each other for the violence.

As well as claiming she disarmed Mr Hughes, Ms Boyle also told police she stopped him from hitting Mr Creaney over the head with a dumbbell as he lay on his back after being punched, kicked, beaten and stamped on.

When asked why Mr Hughes attacked Mr Creaney, Ms Boyle claimed her co-accused was "on steroids ... his head's been wrecked for weeks".

She said the assault followed a row as her co-accused believed Mr Creaney knew who was responsible for breaking into his former home earlier that year.

As the murder trial at Belfast Crown Court entered its third week, the jury heard transcripts of police interviews with Ms Boyle following her arrest on Saturday July 5, 2014.

'Grabbed knife by blade'

During her first interview, the mother of one, from Edenderry Park in Banbridge, refused to answer a majority of questions, but a pre-prepared statement was handed to the PSNI.

In the statement, Ms Boyle said she "did not assault Fonzie [Mr Creaney] in any way". She said: "I tried to stop Stephen Hughes from hitting Fonzie, but every time I did try to stop Stephen, he pushed me away. Each time he pushed me I kept trying to stop him.

"At one point Stephen Hughes had a knife but I took it off him. I did this by grabbing the blade."

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Police Forensics leaving the scene of the murder in 2014

She said that after the attack, both her and Hughes got Mr Creaney to his feet and carried him up the stairs, where he was placed on a reclining chair in a bedroom. Boyle said she placed a cushion under his head, whilst Mr Hughes placed a blanket over him.

'Asked him to squeeze my hand'

Ms Boyle claimed that during this process Mr Creaney was "mumbling", but said that was something he did when he was drunk. She said she also "asked him to squeeze my hand to make sure he was OK. I got him water... he was mumbling and moving his hand."

In the statement, Ms Boyle also said Mr Creaney wet himself, and that she and Hughes showered him then dressed him in some of Mr Hughes's clothing.

She said that when she left the house on Thursday morning, she thought Fonzie was okay, that in the past she had known her friend to "sleep for days" and that she didn't think he was badly injured.

Ms Boyle also told police that when she returned to Moyraverty Court the following afternoon, Mr Creaney was "sleeping and still mumbling", that she checked on him between 20 and 30 times, and brought him water and juice.

She said that the following morning, Saturday 5 July, Mr Hughes told her "Fonzie is dead".

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Mr Creaney was found at a house in Clanrolla Park Craigavon, County Armagh

Ms Boyle's statement ended by her saying: "I can't believe what has happened. What has happened is wrong."

Ms Boyle said she did not help Mr Hughes put Mr Creaney's body in the bin.

She told police: "If we thought for a second he was going to end up dead, I would have phoned for an ambulance."

Mr Creaney died as a result of blunt force trauma to both his chest and head, including 15 fractured ribs and a broken breastbone, as well as bleeding of and tearing to the brain.

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