Woman accused of murder to contest case against her

Shauneen Boyle
Shauneen Boyle

An alleged murderess is to contest there is a case against her, a judge heard on Friday this week.

A defence solicitor for 24-year-old Shauneen Boyle, from Edenderry Park, Banbridge, told Craigavon Magistrates Court he would be seeking a Preliminary Investigation where the prosecution must convince a judge there is sufficient evidence to warrant putting the accused on trial. 

Boyle's solicitor said while the PI would be based mainly on submissions, three witnesses would be required to testify, leading the prosecuting lawyer to ask for an adjournment for two weeks to check availability of witnesses.

She told the court the family of the victim were quite keen for the matter to progress as quickly as possible.

The case was adjourned on July 10 for Boyle to appear on videolink.

Later in the same court her  co-accused Stephen Thomas Hughes also appeared in the dock but his solicitor said he would not be making a similar application.

The pair are being kept separate as they have mounted a "cut-throat defence," each blaming the other for the murder. 

District Judge Mervyn Bates, told Hughes that while the mixed committal for Boyle would delay his case, he added the court was making every effort to deal with this as soon as possible so that the matter could move forward to the Crown Court.

Both are charged with the murder of Owen Creaney on a date between July 3 and July 8 last year.

The charge arises after the badly beaten body of 40-year-old Mr Creaney was found hidden in a wheelie bin at the back of Hughes' house at Moyraverty Court after a report of suspicious activity on the Saturday, although police believe that he may have been in the bin for a number of days. 

Speaking at the time of the gruesome discovery, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Campbell said Mr Creaney, who celebrated his 40th birthday last week, was a "frail and vulnerable" member of our society who was disabled and used a walking aid. 

He said it appeared that he "was the victim of a serious and sustained assault" and had initially survived the beating but later died while in the bin. 

Boyle and Hughes were arrested before officers uncovered the victims body in a green bin at the house and the court has heard that during interviews, each blamed the other for the death, not withstanding the fact that Boyle had allegedly confessed to a witness that she had assaulted Mr Creaney. 

- By Paul Higgins