Horse trainer charged with murdering his partner's sister in Derry barred from living with women as High Court bail condition

A horse trainer charged with murdering his partner's sister is to be barred from living with any other women, a High Court judge ordered today.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 3:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 3:54 pm
With total sureties of £60,000 required as part of Cresswell's release, he was ordered to live at an address in Larne, Co Antrim and excluded from entering Co Armagh.

Mr. Justice O'Hara imposed the prohibition as part of strict terms on which he granted bail to Jonathan Cresswell.

Cresswell, 33, is accused of killing Katie Simpson following an investigation into her initially suspected hanging.

The 21-year-old showjumper died in hospital following an incident at an address in Gortnessy Meadows, Derry on August 3 last year.

Cresswell, of Briar Hill Gardens in Greysteel, was the long-term partner of Ms. Simpson's older sister.

But according to the prosecution he had also been in a sexual relationship with the alleged victim, borrowing thousands of pounds from her and other women.

During a previous hearing he was described as an alleged "philanderer" involved in a series of affairs.

At first it was thought that Ms. Simpson, from Co Armagh, had taken her own life.

Despite continuing uncertainty over how she died, Cresswell was charged with murder based on other evidence and "deficiencies" in his version of events.

Crown lawyer Robin Steer argued, however, that the accused's account about Ms Simpson hanging herself lacked credibility.

He claimed there was a window of opportunity for Cresswell to have been responsible for her death.

Opposing bail, Mr. Steer also detailed alleged attempts to interfere with witnesses in the case.

Defence counsel Kieran Mallon reiterated how an autopsy concluded it was impossible to be certain whether hanging occurred.

"There was a mark on the neck that could have been caused by a noose," the barrister added.

"This is not a strong prima facie case of murder on the papers presently available."

Granting bail, Mr Justice O'Hara cited the autopsy report in his decision.

"For now I have a case full of suspicion but, it seems to me, short on proof," he said.

The judge stressed that circumstances may change if any further charges are brought.

With total sureties of £60,000 required as part of Cresswell's release, he was ordered to live at an address in Larne, Co. Antrim and excluded from entering Co. Armagh.

Mr. Justice O'Hara also directed: "No woman or girl is to live at that house while Mr. Cresswell is living there." ends