A murder accused has told a court that he snapped and grabbed his victim’s throat when she told him the child she was carrying was not his and that she was going to have an abortion.
Father-of-one Stephen Cahoon (37), of Harvey Street, Londonderry, was giving evidence at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin in his trial for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Jean Teresa Quigley.
He admits killing the mother-of-four but has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 30-year-old at her Shantallow home in on July 26, 2008.
Cahoon told the court yesterday that his mobile rang while he was having sex with Ms Quigley at 3.22am.
Afterwards, he said, she asked him to check who had phoned him. He claimed that when he told her it was his friend, Sandra Wilson, Ms Quigley told him to get out.
“I said ‘why, I’ve done nothing. I don’t want to go. You said you’d let me stay’,” he said.
“She said she’d had enough and wanted me to go. She started screaming ‘f**k off, get out’. I know I should have gone,” he said. “I said ‘no, I want to stay here with you and the baby’.
“She started screaming ‘it’s not f*****g yours’ and that she was going to have an abortion,” he claimed. “She kept saying it.”
He said he asked her to stop, that it wasn’t true.
“I just grabbed her by the throat. I wanted her to be quiet, to stop saying that,” Cahoon told the court. “I didn’t mean to kill her. She just riled me up. I snapped.”
He said he pressed down on her neck for about a minute with one hand.
“I didn’t think she was dead until I saw the stuff coming out of her mouth,” he said.
“I just cried and tried to think was it real,” he said, explaining that he got a taxi home and fell asleep for a while, before taking a bus to Letterkenny and another to Galway.
He stayed in two B&Bs in Galway for about a week before travelling to Donegal town, where he slept rough before being arrested.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of seven women and five men.