Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Jean murder police hunt for evil brute who battered woman

PSNI seek notorious woman beater convicted of attacks nine years ago

Horrific injuries sustained by Lynn McGall, one of Cahoon’s victims
Left: Stephen Cahoon: jailed for 15 charges of battering women. Right: Jean Quigley: the pregnant mother of four murdered at her home

Police hunting the killer of Londonderry mother Jean Quigley want to question a notorious woman beater who battered a teenager almost beyond recognition nine years ago.

In 1999, Stephen Trevor Cahoon, then aged 27, of Rockview Terrace, Moneymore in Co Londonderry, admitted 15 charges against two women, including grievous bodily harm, assault and threatening to kill.

One victim, Lynn McGall (18) from Ballymena was so badly beaten about the face she was almost unrecognisable.

Cahoon was also convicted of assaulting his partner, Samantha Brown, and threatening to kill her.

After a campaign waged by the Sunday Life, the three-year jail sentence was increased to five years and three months.

Cahoon was not in the Appeal Court in Belfast to hear the Lord Chief Justice say the original sentence was too low for the savage beating he inflicted on one of his victims.

Outside the court the women said they were pleased about the increase in Cahoon's sentence.

Police today declined to confirm that they want to speak to Cahoon.

But a spokesman said: “The Police Service is aware of speculation in the community about the identity of a suspect wanted for questioning about the murder of Jean Quigley in Derry on Saturday, July 26. Police are grateful to the community for the support and co-operation they have received in this investigation.

“The investigation is making significant progress and a number of definite lines of inquiry are being actively pursued. Police are also grateful to the media for their assistance in highlighting this case and carrying appeals for information.

“But detectives are concerned that publicity surrounding any named individual will impede the progress of their investigation and may compromise the chances of a successful prosecution. The community should be assured that police are examining every possible means of locating and apprehending a suspect.

“Police efforts will not be assisted by untimely media coverage. It is the PSNI's responsibility to bring an offender before the courts and collect evidence which will secure a successful conviction.

“That is what detectives are working to achieve; that is what Jean Quigley's family want and what the community wants.

“Detectives would ask media not to publish or broadcast any material about a named or identified suspect without prior agreement with PSNI."

Meanwhile, police have launched a cross-border hunt in a bid to snare the killer.

The Garda and the PSNI confirmed that they are now working together in a bid to hunt out whoever was responsible for the brutal killing of the pregnant mother of four.

Ms Quigley’s remains were released by the Coroner’s office in Belfast yesterday ahead of her funeral tomorrow morning at St Joseph’s Church in her native Galliagh.

A police escort accompanied the remains as they were transferred to Altnagelvin Hospital yesterday before being taken to her parents’ home in Fergleen Park. The funeral mass will take place at 10am tomorrow at St Joseph’s Church.

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