Court hears murder accused told Gardai 'I stuck the knife in him'

CourtsBy Sunday World
Paula Farrell
Paula Farrell

A murder trial jury has heard how a 42-year-old Louth woman accused of murdering her partner in Louth last year told a guard that she stabbed the deceased following an argument with him.

Paula Farrell with an address at Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, Co Louth is charged with murdering Wayne McQuillan (30) at her home on January 1, 2014.

A week ago at the Central Criminal Court, Ms Farrell pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr McQuillan.

Garda Tomas Leonard of Drogheda Garda Station told Prosecution Counsel Mr Gerard Clarke SC that in the early hours of January 1 2014, he went to Rathmullen Park where the hallway and kitchen were covered in blood and he met Paula Farrell in the hallway crying. 

Gda Leonard told the jury of five men and seven women the accused told him she had had an argument with her boyfriend Mr McQuillan. 

“I asked her had she stabbed her boyfriend and she replied she did. In the kitchen I observed blood on the floor and in the kitchen sink, there was a number of items including two knives and watered down blood. One was a bread knife and the other knife was around six inches. The bread knife was slightly smaller than the other," said Gda Leonard. 

The court heard Ms Farrell was then placed in the back of a patrol car which went to her mother's house, also in Rathmullen Park.

Reading from Paula Farrell's statement taken by Gda Leonard at the time, Mr Clarke read: "I stuck the knife in him. I think I stuck the knife up towards the top of his chest and a bit lower down."

"Was it twice you stabbed him?" read the barrister.

"Yes. It was a medium sized knife I grabbed, I don’t know whether I threw it in the sink and ran water over my hands. Wayne walked out the front door of the house and collapsed outside," continued reading Mr Clarke who also read to the court that Ms Farrell had been going out with Mr McQuillan since March 2013.

Defence Counsel Mr Derek Kenneally SC asked Gda Leonard did he fail to notice Ms Farrell had a bump on her forehead?

"Not then, in the other house she pointed it out," he replied

"Did you notice a bite mark on her right lower cheek?" asked Mr Kenneally.

"I couldn’t say I noticed that or later on," replied Gda Leonard.

"Did you notice bruising on her throat?" again asked Mr Kenneally.

"No I didn't notice that then or at a later stage," replied Gda Leonard.

Mr Kenneally then asked Gda Leonard if he had any misgivings talking to Paula Farrell in the kitchen of her mother's house as he was aware she was intoxicated and had a head injury?

"She had calmed down and she was with her family," replied Gda Leonard.

"Five hours later a doctor felt she was intoxicated and not fit to be interviewed at the time you interviewed her," Mr Kenneally put it to Gda Leonard.

"I felt she was fit to be interviewed and able to answer back," replied Gda Leonard.

"You didn't notice bruising on her neck and she had to draw your attention to a bump on her head?" asked the barrister which Gda Leonard confirmed.

The second witness of the day was Dr Maria Marillo, a general medical practitioner with the North East Doctor on Call service who arrived at Drogheda garda station at 7am that morning.

"Ms Farrell was anxious and shaking. She was recently showered and well dressed and had a scrape on her face. It appeared to me she smelt of alcohol and was easily tearful although she was coherent and able to answer questions," Dr Marillo told the court. 

Dr Marillo told the court that Ms Farrell told her she had schizophrenia, was on medication called Quetiapine for it but she hadn't seen a psychiatrist for a long time.

"She told me she had not overdosed since three years ago and hadn't heard voices for the last three weeks. She said she had drank nine cans of cider from 3pm the previous afternoon," said Dr Marillo.

Dr Marillo told Mr Clarke that she deemed her not fit for questioning due to alcohol intoxication. 

The court heard that on January 2 2013 Dr Marillo again went to Drogheda garda station as Ms Farell couldn't sleep.

"She explained to me things were moving in the cell and she knew this wasn't the case. I felt she had alcohol withdrawal and I medicated her for it at the time," said Dr Marillo.

The third witness of the day was Garda Joanna Maguire of Drogheda garda station who told the court she drove Paula Farrell and her mother to her mother's house as a large crowd were gathering outside Ms Farrell's home. 

Gda Maguire told Mr Kenneally that Ms Farrell told her she had been drinking in the house all day with Wayne and a row had broken out in the kitchen.

"She said the nearest thing she could see was a knife and she picked it up and said she stabbed him three or four times," Gda Maguire told the defence counsel. 

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and is expected to last two weeks.

By Alison O'Riordan