Woman accused of murder told gardai she got knife and "stuck it in" her partner

Paula Farrell
Paula Farrell

A 42-year-old Louth woman accused of murder told gardai that she got a knife and "stuck it in" her partner during a physical fight, a jury has heard.

Paula Farrell (42) with an address at Rathmullen Park, Drogheda, Co Louth is charged with murdering her partner 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.

Prosecution Counsel Mr Gerard Clarke SC today told the jury they would hear four interviews conducted with Paula Farrell in Drogheda Garda Station on January 1 and 2 2014.

The first memo was read to the court by Mr Clarke where he read Ms Farrell and Mr McQuillan started "bitching" on New Year's Eve with each other over "something stupid" after a lot of alcohol had been consumed.

Reading from the first interview taken, Mr Clarke read: “That night the two of us started fighting, the two of us were on a chair standing up and he knocked me over.

"He was getting the better of me on the couch and I went over to kitchen sink and got a knife and stuck it in him.

"I don’t remember taking a knife out of the block of knives but I remember sticking it in him."

The barrister continued reading: “He was on top of me, strangling me, he bit me on the jaw.

He grabbed my head and hit it off the wall. I had an opportunity to get him off me, I wasn't letting him get the better of me and I went to get a knife.”

When Ms Farrell was asked to describe the blade of the knife at the time of questioning by the gardai, Mr Clarke read: "It had teeth, I stabbed him twice, under his shoulder and to the front of the chest."

In the second interview read to the court by Mr Maurice Coffey BL from the prosecution, the jury heard that there was blood all over Ms Farrell's hands so she spent a few minutes washing them instead of calling an ambulance for her partner.

The barrister read: "There was blood all over my hands so I washed them under the tap. He said get me an ambulance, he opened the door then and went out the front, It took me a few minutes to wash my hands as I had to really scrub them.”

When Ms Farrell was asked by gardai how the argument started, Mr Coffey read: “I don’t know, I presume it was me who started it, it is always me who starts it, sometimes he provokes me, he throws insults at me and I throw insults back. I probably hit at him first with a punch. He must have annoyed me for me to hit him but I didn't mean to kill him.”

Mr Coffey continued reading: “He pushed me and I landed on a chair, he got on top of me and put his hands around my neck and started to choke me and banged my head off the wall, just above a top of a chair. I was shouting at him to get off me.

I was thinking I’ll kill you because he was killing me, well not killing me, hitting me, I didn't want him to get the better of me.”

“I gave as good as I got and I got away from him, I grabbed a knife from the knife block and walked over to him and stuck it into him.

I could feel it going in, not all the way in. I think I stabbed him twice, I was told he was stabbed four times but I can’t remember that.” Gda Paul Sweeney attached to the Crime Unit of Drogheda Garda Station was then called by counsel and details of the third interview taken on January 2 2014 were read to the court by Mr Coffey.

Reading from the memo the court heard how Gda Sweeney asked the accused what had happened in the kitchen and the hallway. “

I got him in the side when he went to walk out of the kitchen. After I stabbed him in the top of the chest he turned to walk out of kitchen and go down the hall and I remember stabbing him in the side with the knife.

Then we walked slowly down the hall and at the ESB box inside the front door, he kind of slumped over and I stabbed him in the middle of the chest as he lay there. We were facing each other," Ms Farrell told gardai.

“I walked back up to the kitchen and washed my hands and then I heard the front door open and he went outside," added Ms Farrell.

When asked by Gda Sweeney why did she follow him down the hall, Ms Farrell said: "I don’t know, I just stood in front of him and stuck it in his belly." "It looks to us that someone who follows him down the hall after stabbing him three times wants him dead?," asked Gda Sweeney.

“I didn’t want him dead. I wanted to hurt him like he hurt me," said the accused. "Wayne was no threat to you after you stabbed him three times in the kitchen," put Gda Sweeney to Ms Farrell. "No" replied Ms Farrell.

"You had hurt him, was that not time to back off?" asked Gda Sweeney.

"Yes that was time," replied Ms Farrell.

 Mr Clarke then told Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy this was the end of the prosecution's case and defence counsel Mr Derek Kenneally SC asked the judge for time to consider his position.

Mr Justice McCarthy concluded for the day by telling the jury of five men and seven women that the defence may or may not call evidence on Monday and he would see them at 2pm.