Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Murder co-accused tells jury: she went nuts and battered Owen Creaney

By Ashleigh McDonald

Published 06/10/2016

Stephen Hughes (left) with Owen Creaney
Stephen Hughes (left) with Owen Creaney

A man jointly charged with murdering a man in Craigavon has claimed his co-accused went "nuts" and "stood all over" the victim.

The allegations were disclosed at Belfast Crown Court where Stephen Thomas Hughes (29) and co-accused Shaunean Boyle (25) both deny Owen Creaney's murder, blaming each other for the killing.

Following the assault under the stairs in a house a Moyraverty Court, Mr Creaney was cleaned and carried to an upstairs bedroom, where he lay on a sofa for two days before dying from his injuries.

The jury heard Hughes's version of events via police interviews, during which he claimed not to have taken part in an assault launched on Mr Creaney solely by Boyle.

Hughes also claimed that Boyle "begged" him not to call an ambulance as she feared she would not see her young son again, and that it was her idea to put his remains into a green recycling bin after he died.

The jury also heard evidence from a custody sergeant who was on duty when Hughes was transferred from Lurgan police station to Antrim. Both he and Boyle were arrested on Saturday July 5.

He was allowed to call his mother, and in the conversation - heard by the custody sergeant - Hughes was asked who had put Mr Creaney into the bin, to which Hughes replied "the two of us".

He told his mother that Boyle "stood all over him", and when asked by his mother what he did, Hughes responded by saying Boyle "hit him, put him up the stairs, and cleaned him up".

In police interviews Hughes said that before the fatal attack he, Boyle and Mr Creaney had been drinking, but that Boyle and the victim were arguing and "picking at each other" because Mr Creaney was friends with a man who had broken Boyle's father's legs with sledgehammers.

Hughes told police that he bent down to fix the music, that Mr Creaney got up and that he "heard a thud" behind him. When he turned he said he saw Boyle attacking Mr Creaney. He told police he saw Boyle "repeatedly hitting Owen" in the hallway, that he pulled her off, but that "she'd go back to him again, kicking and stamping at him".

He said things then calmed down, that Boyle "cleaned Owen up" with water and a cloth from the kitchen, and that they then carried him back into the living room and sat him on a chair.

Hughes told police that he and Boyle then carried Mr Creaney up the stairs and laid him on a sofa bed. When asked by police what state Mr Creaney was in, Hughes said he was "not speaking, but breathing", and attributed part of his state to his alcohol intake.

Hughes said Boyle left his house at around 8am that morning, and during that day he checked on Mr Creaney several times.

He also claimed that when he told Boyle he was going to call an ambulance, she "pleaded" with him not to, asking him to wait until she got back to the house.

Hughes claimed Boyle "kept checking" on Mr Creaney, and when he noticed that Mr Creaney had died some time between midnight and 2am on Saturday, July 5, he suggested calling the police, but Boyle "begged me not to".

The court also heard Hughes's account of what happened after Mr Creaney died. He said that both he and Boyle "freaked out", that he didn't know what to do and that after contacting a relative, Boyle suggested placing the body in a wheelie bin.

He told police: "When Shaunean asked me about the bin, I said: 'What for?' She said: 'To put him into it'.

"I said: 'Are you sure that's the right thing you want to do?'"

Hughes claimed that he again raised the issue of contacting the police, but Boyle started crying.

"I went and got the bin, brought it up the stairs and the two of us put him in it. She put rubbish on top and I wheeled it down the stairs."

Hughes claimed Boyle then told him to "act normally", and told police: "I felt like I was being pushed into it."

At hearing.

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph