Policeman accused of threatening Cahoon trial witness

Stephen Cahoon.
Stephen Cahoon.

A police man has denied he threatened to take a prosecution witness inthe trial of a Derry man accused of murdering a pregnant woman into a room and give him a “good kicking”, a jury at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court heard yesterday

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

Yesterday prosecution counsel Ms Patricia McLaughlin BL,called PSNI Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Hobson and was involved in the investigation into the killing of MsQuigley, to give evidence.

On Tuesday prosecution counsel Mr Patrick Marrinan SC read two statements via video link to Mr James Casey who was giving evidence from Glasgow High Court.

The court heard Mr Casey previously gave these statements to police inDerry on July 29 2008.

Then under cross examination Mr Casey told defence counsel Mr Michael O’Higgins SC he had a conviction for wasting police time.

Yesterday Det Sgt Hobson told the court he had cause to interview Mr Casey on July 29 2008 as he had “voluntarily” attended Strand Road police station.

Det Sgt Hobson then told counsel that Mr Casey had attended the station as a witness and the policeman had a discussion with him where he was “told to tell the truth.”

On Tuesday the jury heard that when Mr Casey was re interviewed on August 1 2008 he told the police in his statement that previous detectives had threatened to take him into a room and give him a “good kicking”.

In court yesterday Det Sgt Hobson denied this happened, saying: “Mr Casey alleged that I threatened him, he could have taken that out of context, I believe he did make a complaint the next day to other officers,”

Mr O’Higgins then asked the police man if a member of the public complains that they have been threatened, was there a method to file it somewhere.

The Ombudsman investigates alleged bad behaviour by police but this complaint was not brought to his attention. If a complaint is made during interview it is up to complainant to go to authorities to follow the complaint through,” said Det Sgt Hobson.

Det Sgt Hobson then told the court that Mr Casey left the police station without complaint and returned the following day.

Mr O’Higgins asked the policeman if there was information relayedto Mr Casey “continuously throughout the questions” which Det SgtHobson agreed there was.

The court heard that thereafter Det Sgt Hobson did not take part in any other interviews with Mr Casey.

The trial continues.