Jean Quigley Murder Trial: Witness heard mother’s scream

Jean Quigley.
Jean Quigley.

A witness has told the jury in the trial of a man accused of murdering a pregnant Derry woman, that he saw a kitchen knife sitting next to the bed in the room where the deceased was found.

Stephen Cahoon (43) with an address at Harvey Street, Derry, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Jean Teresa Quigley (30) at Cornshell Fields on July 26th, 2008.

At the Central Criminal Court yesterday, witness Peter Barr said he had gone Ms. Quigley’s house with her mother who had a spare key, and was downstairs when he heard Ms McBride screaming upstairs.

The jury heard that upon entering the room, the first thing Mr Barr saw was Jean’s leg hanging out of the bed.

Mr Barr confirmed that when he looked further, he could see that she (the deceased) was naked, the body was partially clothed by bedclothes and her head was “facing the wall.”

He then tried to keep Emma McBride back, as she was in a distraught condition.

Mr. Barr agreed that he had checked Jean’s wrist and neck for a pulse but that he could tell she was already dead as she felt cold.

Having called for the police on a mobile phone, he went back into Jean’s room to comfort her mother and he noticed a length of brown tape on the ground next to the bed, which he picked up.

The court heard that he then saw a chrome handled kitchen knife sitting on a dresser and that he left it where it was.

Taking to the stand, Majella Cox, who had been friends with Ms Quigley for 22 years said that she met or spoke on the phone with her almost every day.

Ms Cox confirmed that she had never seen Jean in a physical fight or involved in any kind of violence.

Under cross examination by Mr Michael O’Higgins, SC defending, Ms Cox confirmed that she had been aware of an incident where Stephen had been asked to leave the house on Saturday July 12th.

The trial continues today.