Belfast Telegraph

Owen Creaney lay dying for two days before he was dumped in bin, court told

By Ashleigh McDonald

A man whose body was discovered in a wheelie bin lay dying for two days following a "deliberate and frenzied attack", a jury has heard.

Lurgan man Owen Creaney (40) was viciously attacked in July 2014. His body was then dumped into a green recycling bin, with waste items placed on top of his remains.

A man and a woman are currently on trial for Mr Creaney's murder.

Stephen Thomas Hughes (29) and his 25-year-old co-accused Shaunean Boyle blame each other for the fatal attack.

At the time of the murder, the pair were living at a house at Moyraverty Court in Craigavon, along with two young children.

The court heard that it took Mr Creaney two days to die from the severe injuries he sustained.

A state pathologist said that the deceased died as a result of blunt force trauma to both his chest and head. Mr Creaney's injuries included a total of 15 fractured ribs and a broken breastbone, as well as bleeding of and tearing to the brain.

A jury consisting of seven women and five men at Belfast Crown Court yesterday was informed that following the fatal attack, police were alerted to the presence of a body at a house in Moyraverty Court.

When they called to the property, they noticed evidence of a clean-up.

Mr Creaney, of Victoria Place in Lurgan, was last seen getting out of a taxi with Hughes and Boyle in the early hours of Thursday, July 3 - and it is the Crown's case that he was later subjected to a vicious assault which later claimed his life.

Crown prosecutor Liam McCollum QC told the jury that both Hughes and Boyle admitted being present when Mr Creaney was beaten, but that each of them have blamed the other for carrying out the attack.

Mr McCollum said it was the Crown's case that both accused murdered Mr Creaney, and due to the nature of his injuries, they "intended to inflict at least very serious injuries on him".

His remains were discovered by police on Saturday, July 5, after police were informed of the presence of a body. When officers called to the house it was noted that windows were open, there was a mop and bucket as well as a strong smell of bleach. The presence of paint was also noted on Hughes fingers.

In addition, when inside the property officers noticed that upstairs carpets had been scrubbed and there was a smell of fresh paint. Blood-staining was also noted on the stairs.

Revealing it was the Crown's case that Mr Creaney was subjected to a beating under the stairs in the hallway of the house, Mr McCollum said that when Hughes and Boyle were being taken to Lurgan police station, Boyle told police they should check the green bin.

It was at this point that Mr Creaney's remains were found, underneath cardboard.

When they were arrested on suspicion of murder, Hughes made no reply whilst Boyle said: "I didn't do it."

Outlining the case against the pair, Mr McCollum said both accused were present when Mr Creaney was beaten, that neither of them sought any medical assistance, and that whilst Mr Creaney lay on an upstairs sofa, they both "carried on as if nothing had happened, going in and out of the house ... and with people visiting the house."

The jury was told by the prosecution that on Friday, July 4, a friend of Boyle's visited the Moyraverty Court and Boyle showed her Mr Creaney who at that point was still alive and lying on an upstairs sofa. The friend told Boyle that she should call an ambulance, but this didn't happen.

Mr McCollum said that the following day, after talking to Boyle and being informed Mr Creaney had died, the friend raised the alarm and contacted police.

The prosecutor also said that despite both Hughes and Boyle both protesting their innocence, there was "overwhelming evidence" that links both accused to the murder - including the fact they were both in the house at the time of the attack and were both present when police arrived.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph