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Stephen Cahoon a woman-hating predator with a history of violence

By David Young

Published 04/12/2015

Lynne McGall after being viciously beaten by Cahoon
Lynne McGall after being viciously beaten by Cahoon
Lynne as she looked after recovering
Samantha Brown, who was also assaulted by Cahoon

Stephen Cahoon's criminal record is littered with incidents of violence towards women.

The murder of Jean Quigley was not the start of his savagery.

Described by the PSNI as a dangerous sexual predator with a history of violence towards women, Cahoon had already served time for attacking Samantha Brown, the mother of his child. She had been in a relationship with him for two years.

He attacked Samantha when their daughter was born jaundiced - as he blamed her for the child's condition - and he also launched a vicious attack as the young mum breastfed their daughter.

The final straw came when he tried to strangle her with the rope from a dressing gown.

"I'm lucky he didn't kill me. He's a maniac," Samantha said.

The monster attacked and beat Ballymena teenager Lynne McGall (18) so viciously that her swollen, injured face was unrecognisable. Cahoon left her for dead in a field. Cahoon was brought to court on DNA evidence after his chewing gum was found in Ms McGall's hair.

Evil Cahoon, who had denied attacking Lynne, made an eleventh hour confession after the jury had been sworn in for a trial.

Lynne and Samantha both bravely faced Cahoon in court - but were devastated by the lenient three-year sentence he was handed for a total of 15 offences against the two women.

Our sister paper Sunday Life launched a campaign to get Cahoon's sentence increased and the Northern Ireland Attorney General launched an appeal, which led to Cahoon's sentence being increased to five years and three months.

Cahoon was first tried in 2009 for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend Jean Quigley (30).

Ms Quigley's naked and bruised body was discovered at her home by her mother in July 2008. Pregnant with his child, Jean had been beaten and strangled.

Cahoon fled to the Republic, but was apprehended .

His trials made legal history. He was charged under the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act of 1976 and was given the option of being tried in the Republic or in Northern Ireland. He chose trial in the Republic, becoming the first person to be tried before a jury in the Republic for an offence under the anti-terrorist legislation.

Cahoon admitted strangling Jean, but claimed it was not murder. The result was a hung jury.

Tried again for the crime in 2012, the Derry man was found guilty by a jury at Dublin's Central Criminal Court of murdering Ms Quigley.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment, but in March of this year Dublin's Court of Appeal quashed his conviction due to an error in the judge's instructions to the jury.

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