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He told me he'd killed 'wee Owen', accused's ex-partner tells court

By Ashleigh McDonald

Published 29/09/2016

Stephen Thomas Hughes
Stephen Thomas Hughes

One of two people standing trial for murder called his ex-girlfriend and told her he was going to jail for a "very, very long time" because he had killed a man, a court has heard.

Giving evidence at Belfast Crown Court, the ex-partner of murder accused Stephen Thomas Hughes claimed he called her from Lurgan police station and said he had killed "wee Owen".

Hughes (29) and Shaunean Boyle (25) have been jointly charged with murdering Lurgan man Owen Creaney, who was beaten in the hallway of Hughes's home at Moyraferty Court in the town in July 2014.

Both accused deny the murder and blame each other for the fatal attack.

The trial has already heard that following a beating under the stairs of the house, Mr Creaney was then washed and placed on a sofa in an upstairs bedroom of the property.

He remained there for around 48 hours, and after dying from head and chest injuries, he was dumped in a green recycling bin at the rear of the property.

Hughes's former partner, the mother of his son, broke down several times while giving evidence. She said that a few days prior to Mr Creaney's remains being found in the bin she met with Hughes and noticed blood on his trainers.

She told the court Hughes was "OCD" about keeping his trainers clean, and when she asked about the bloodstains she was told to mind her own business.

On Saturday, July 5 - the day the body was discovered - she said Hughes phoned her from the police station and he asked her if his house had been boarded up.

She said Hughes then told her he had killed "wee Owen" and that he used the term "I" instead of "we" talking about the killing.

The witness said he also spoke about emptying his green recycling bin as he had missed the binmen. She said: "I asked him if it has anything to do with the blood on his shoes, and he said yes."

Also giving evidence was a neighbour of Hughes, who said she saw a man lying in an upstairs room of Hughes's house and that the room "smelled like poo".

The mother-of-two refused to look at Hughes and Boyle as she gave evidence, telling the court: "I don't want to see them ones."

She said that on Friday, July 4, she, her partner and children were invited to Hughes's house. Boyle and her son were also present.

The neighbour said they had a few drinks and sat planning a picnic for the following day, "just like everything was normal".

She said she went upstairs to use the toilet, where she heard a noise "like snoring" coming from one of the rooms.

She added that as she left the bathroom the bedroom door was open, and she saw Boyle on her knees beside a man on a bed.

The witness said she noticed a syringe in Boyle's hand and when she asked who the man was Boyle didn't answer.

When she went downstairs and asked Hughes who the man upstairs was, she said Hughes told her it was "just wee Owen".

She said Hughes also told her Owen had been drinking with them, consuming a big bottle of vodka and two bottles of Buckfast, and had wet himself, which is why he had been washed and changed.

At hearing

Belfast Telegraph

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