Owen Creaney wheelie bin murder case: Shauneen Boyle and Stephen Hughes to stand trial over death of 'vulnerable' man
A man and woman have been ordered to stand trial for the murder of a man who was beaten and left to die in a wheelie bin.
At Craigavon Magistrates Court, sitting in Omagh, a prosecution lawyer submitted that on the basis of the legal papers, there is a Prima Facie case against 24-year-old Shauneen Boyle and Stephen Hughes (28) that they were responsible for the death of Owen Creaney.
Boyle, from Edenderry Park in Banbridge and Hughes, from Moyraverty Court in Craigavon, are jointly charged with the murder of 40-year-old Mr Creaney on a date unknown between 4 - 5 July last year and previous courts have heard how the pair blame each other for the killing in a so-called 'cut throat defence.'
Although no facts surrounding the case were opened on Friday, earlier courts have heard how the badly beaten body of 40-year-old Mr Creaney was found hidden in a wheelie bin at the back of Hughes' house at Moyraverty Court in the town after a report of suspicious activity, although police believe that he may have been in the bin for a number of days.
Speaking at the time of the gruesome discovery, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Campbell said Mr Creaney, who celebrated his 40th birthday the week before his death, was a "frail and vulnerable" member of our society who was disabled and used a walking aid and had been the victim of a serious and sustained assault" which he had initially survived but later died while in the bin.
DS Burns said police believed that Mr Creaney was assaulted either late on Wednesday evening or in the early hours of Thursday but was not given any medical assistance and died on Friday evening or Saturday morning.
He revealed that Boyle and Hughes were arrested before officers uncovered the victims body in a green bin at the house and that during interviews, each blamed the other for the death, not withstanding the fact that Boyle had allegedly confessed to a witness that she had assaulted Mr Creaney herself.
The officer further revealed that Boyle told police where the body had been hidden.
On Friday at Omagh courthouse, the case against Boyle had been scheduled for a Preliminary Investigation with the defence set to call three forensic witnesses to contest whether there was in fact a case for Boyle to answer.
Her defence lawyer told District Judge Bernie Kelly however they no longer intended to have a PI.
That being the case, neither Boyle's lawyer nor Tony Lunny, acting on behalf of Hughes, made contrary submissions to the Crown contention there was sufficient evidence against them to warrant returning the case to the Crown Court.
Remanding the pair back into custody, Judge Kelly ordered them to appear before the higher court on 6 November for arraignment.