Northern Ireland

Owen Creaney murder: Stephen Thomas Hughes denies killing

Owen Creaney Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Owen Creaney was disabled and used a walking aid

A man jointly accused of murdering a man and dumping his body in a bin broke down in court as he described how he put the victim's body into a wheelie bin with his co-accused.

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

Mr Hughes denied murdering Mr Creaney.

He claimed Ms Boyle, who also denies murder, was solely responsible for the attack.

Mr Creaney, a disabled man who used a walking aid, was assaulted in the hallway of Mr Hughes's Moyraverty Court home in the early hours of 3 July 2014.

It took two days for him to die. His body was then dumped into a recycling bin.

Both Ms Boyle, from Edenderry Park, Banbridge, and Mr Hughes, whose address was given as Maghaberry Prison, have admitted being present during the attack.

Telling the court that they were all drunk, Mr Hughes said that in the living room, Ms Boyle and Mr Creaney got into a row about a man linked to a prior sledgehammer attack on Ms Boyle's father.

Mr Hughes claimed that he witnessed Ms Boyle "kicking and stamping" on Mr Creaney after punching him.

"When she was kicking and stamping him, I ran over to try and grab her and she flung me off and she continued kicking and stamping," he added.

Mr Hughes claimed that during the period between the beating and Mr Creaney's death, he at first did not consider calling an ambulance as he did not think the other man was seriously injured, just drunk.

He, however, claimed that as time passed he became more concerned for his friend. He also said that he told Ms Boyle he was going to call an ambulance, but that she told him not to.

'Panicking'

When he was asked about Mr Creaney's death and how his remains ended up in the wheelie bin, Mr Hughes said it was Ms Boyle who suggested putting the body in the bin.

He also told the court that when he realised his friend had died, he asked two neighbours who were downstairs to leave.

He said: "I went up the stairs to go to the toilet and I peeped in on him, and I just knew by looking at him that he had gone at this stage. That's when I really started panicking. I just couldn't get over it."

Mr Hughes said that following the discovery, he told Ms Boyle what had happened and asked his two guests to leave.

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

When asked how Mr Creaney came to be placed in the bin, Mr Hughes said Ms Boyle asked if he had a bin.

He then wheeled his green recycling bin from downstairs to the upstairs bedroom.

A tearful Mr Hughes then said: "We put the bin down, Shaunean had took one side and I took the one side, and we slid him in it, then we lifted the bin upright.

"Then we pushed him on in to it and I wheeled the bin down the stairs."

Mr Hughes was cross-examined by Ms Boyle's barrister who branded the accused's version of events as wrong.

When he was questioned about his version of events it was suggested that Mr Hughes's criminal record - which includes a number of convictions for assaults - demonstrated a propensity to "use violence upon vulnerable victims".

He highlighted Mr Hughes's convictions for violence, which including attacking a pregnant girlfriend.

When it was put to Mr Hughes that it was he and not Ms Boyle who launched the fatal attack, Mr Hughes refuted this and again blamed his co-accused.

"Just because I have a history of violence in the past doesn't mean to say I actually done what I am sitting here for today," he added.

The murder trial at Belfast Crown Court continues.

Related Topics

More on this story