Murder accused told aunt that beaten Owen fell and hit his head, court hears
The aunt of a woman jointly charged with murder has revealed she would have contacted the PSNI had she known the victim was subjected to a serious assault two days before he died.
Owen 'Fonzie' Creaney sustained fatal head and chest injuries, including a fractured breastbone, when he was attacked at a house in Craigavon in the early hours of Thursday, July 3, 2014.
The 40-year-old was then washed and placed in the upstairs bedroom of the property at Moyraverty Court, where it took him two days to die.
He was then dumped into a green recycling bin at the rear of the property, where his remains were found on Saturday, July 5.
Stephen Thomas Hughes (29) and his 25-year-old co-accused Shaunean Boyle have been jointly charged with Mr Creaney's murder and blame each other for the fatal attack.
As the trial at Belfast Crown Court entered its second week, an aunt of Boyle's told the jury from the witness stand that she overheard a telephone conversation between her niece and Hughes on the afternoon of Thursday, July 3.
The mother-of-two said she heard Boyle ask Hughes whether Mr Creaney was still sleeping.
The witness said she asked her niece what had happened, to which Boyle replied Mr Creaney had fallen and banged his head and was sleeping at Hughes's Moyraverty Court home.
The witness said Boyle also told her that his breathing was heavy. She said: "I told her she would need to watch, he might have concussion, and if it gets worse he should go to hospital."
She was also asked whether or not her niece told her the reason why Mr Creaney was sleeping was because he had been punched and kicked by Hughes.
She tearfully replied: "She never suggested anything like that ... if she had I would have rung the police."
The witness said that after advising her niece that Mr Creaney may be suffering from concussion, Boyle told her she would keep an eye on him.
The woman was also asked about contact she had with her niece over the period spanning Thursday, July 3, to Saturday, July 5. She said Boyle arrived at her house to babysit on the Thursday - the same day she overheard Boyle talking to Hughes - and that she left the following morning with her young son.
During the early hours of the Saturday, the woman said she received a text message from Boyle saying: "You are the only person who has been there for me."
At this stage, Boyle began crying in the dock.
The witness also revealed she contacted Boyle on the Saturday morning to see if she could babysit, but received a text from Boyle saying she was "helping Hughsey clean the house".
The jury also heard evidence from another of Boyle's aunts, who saw her around 4pm on the Saturday.
Boyle was in a police car, and asked her aunt to "take the child, Fonzie is dead", the court heard.
Boyle then said, "He is dead, he beat the f*** out of him", and when asked who 'he' was, she replied "Hughsey". At hearing.