Belfast Telegraph

Woman jailed for murdering disabled man Owen Creaney was 'conniving, cunning and devious witness', the Court of Appeal hears

By Alan Erwin

A woman jailed for murdering a disabled man and dumping his body in a wheelie bin was a "conniving, cunning and devious witness", the Court of Appeal heard on Friday.

As Shaunean Boyle attempted to overturn her conviction for killing Owen Creaney in Co Armagh three years ago, prosecutors claimed she was prepared to try to lie her way out of trouble.

Judgement was reserved following a two-day hearing before senior judges in Belfast.

Mr Creaney, a vulnerable 40-year-old, died two days after being beaten repeatedly at a house in Craigavon in July 2014.

His body was then put into a green recycling bin and discovered later by police.

Last year Boyle, 26, and her 30-year-old co-accused Stephen Hughes were both found guilty of his murder.

During their trial the jury heard Mr Creaney had been punched, kicked and stamped on at Hughes' Moyraverty Court home.

He sustained more than 60 injuries, including a broken breastbone, 15 fractures to his ribs and bleeding to the brain in what was described as a "savage and merciless attack".

Following the assault the victim was washed and changed, before being left on a bedroom sofa until he succumbed to his injuries.

Boyle, a mother-of-one from Edenderry Park in Banbridge, and Hughes admitted being in the house with Mr Creaney, but both denied attacking him and instead blamed each other for the violence.

Hughes claimed he witnessed Boyle stamp all over Mr Creaney and that he tried to stop the attack.

Boyle, however, alleged that her co-defendant alone carried out the assault using his fists and feet.

The prosecution maintained that the pair attacked Mr Creaney together, then attempted a cover-up by painting blood-splattered walls and mopping blood from the floor.

In December 2016 Boyle was jailed for a minimum 14 years for the murder, while Boyle was ordered to spend at least 15 years behind bars.

She is seeking to clear her name, claiming issues around bad character evidence admitted at trial rendered the conviction unsafe.

Liam McCollum QC, for the prosecution, countered that it was properly put before the jury because it demonstrated a propensity to violence.

In what was described as a circumstantial case, Boyle's legal team argued there were reasons why she allegedly lied by telling a close friend she had jumped on the victim.

But Mr McCollum insisted that she only made a denial when "the stakes had been raised" by Mr Creaney's death.

He contended: "She was a conniving, cunning and devious witness who would literally make anything up to get herself out of a very bad predicament."

Boyle changed her story and tailored her account as the evidence emerged, the court heard.

Following closing submissions Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan pledged: "We will give our judgment as soon as we can."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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