Sex predator appeals murder conviction

Stephen Cahoon is appealing his murder conviction.
Stephen Cahoon is appealing his murder conviction.

A ‘dangerous sexual predator’ found guilty of brutally murdering a Derry mother-of-four has lodged an appeal against his conviction.

Stephen Cahoon (39) is appealing against his conviction for murdering Jean Quigley (30) at her Cornshell Fields home in the summer of 2008.

Mother of four Jean Quigley was brutally murdered at her Shantallow home.

Mother of four Jean Quigley was brutally murdered at her Shantallow home.

Cahoon received a mandatory life sentence when found guilty of the murder earlier this year.

The ‘Journal’ can reveal that Cahoon lodged his appeal with the Court of Criminal Appeal in Dublin in May.

However, as yet, there is no court date set for a hearing.

Last night, a friend of Jean’s expressed disbelief at Cahoon’s latest move.

“It’s as if he is still trying to control things from behind bars,” said the friend. “He is evil personified.

“What he did to poor Jean was horrific and he deserves to stay behind bars for the rest of his days.

“He had a history of violence against women before he met Jean and this was only borne out when he murdered her. He has to stay behind bars. Who’s to say he wouldn’t do the same again if, God forbid, he was ever released.”

Jean Quigley was two months pregnant with Cahoon’s baby son when she was brutally murdered by him on July 26, 2008.

The 30-year-old was found strangled, bloodied and badly bruised at her home by her mother who told Cahoon’s trial earlier this year that she still had nightmares about her horrific discovery.

Cahoon had elected to be tried in the Republic after being apprehended in Co Donegal over a week after he had fled from Derry.

He had admitted killing Ms Quigley but denied her murder.

A retrial was ordered in 2009 after a jury at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court failed to reach a verdict. At the same court in May of this year, he was unanimously found guilty of the murder.

Following his conviction, the PSNI described Cahoon as a “dangerous sexual predator with a history of violence against women.”

“He deserves to stay behind bars for a very long time,” said a police spokesperson.