Woman accused of murdering partner denies lying about rape attempt

Lawyer queries woman’s claim her boyfriend tried to assault her before she stabbed him

The Criminal Courts of Justice, in Dublin. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

The Criminal Courts of Justice, in Dublin. File photograph: Aidan Crawley


A woman who stabbed her boyfriend to death has denied lying to the jury by saying that the deceased had been attempting to rape her before the incident.

Paula Farrell (46) was being cross-examined by the State on Wednesday at the Central Criminal Court, where she’s on trial charged with murdering 30-year-old Wayne McQuillan in her Louth home.

Ms Farrell, of Rathmullen Park in Drogheda, has pleaded not guilty to murdering McQuillan, but guilty to his manslaughter on New Year’s morning in 2014.

She told gardaí that they had probably been fighting about something stupid at the time and that she “wasn’t letting him get the better” of her when she stabbed him four times.

However, she told her trial on Tuesday that he had tried to have sex with her, that she hadn’t wanted to have sex, and that he had started strangling her before she went to the kitchen for the knife.

She was cross-examined by Gerard Clarke SC, prosecuting, on Wednesday.

Ms Farrell agreed that she had not said any of this in her Garda interviews or during three consultations she’d had with female doctors in the Garda station following her arrest.

She agreed that the first time the State was made aware of the allegation was in May the following year.

“I was in a state of shock. I was numb,” she said.

She also agreed that the book of evidence had been served on her four months after the killing. Some of its witness statements referred to the deceased walking out of her house after being stabbed with his trousers around his ankles.

However, she denied that this was what had put the idea into her mind of saying that he had sexually assaulted her.

“The simple explanation is that it was a lie,” suggested the barrister.

“It’s not a lie,” replied Ms Farrell.

‘Completely defenceless’

She agreed that her boyfriend had been standing with his arms down by his sides and “completely defenceless” when she stabbed him three times in the kitchen.

“And you weren’t satisfied with that infliction of injury, but you followed him down the hallway and stuck the knife into him again near the front door,” suggested Mr Clarke.

“Yeah,” she agreed.

“I don’t know why I followed him down the hall,” she said, when asked to explain this.

She agreed that the description she gave gardaí of the deceased being a lovely person was accurate.

“And yet you told the jury that, in an instant, he turned into a rapist and monster?” asked Mr Clarke.

“Yeah,” she replied.

“Why didn’t you tell the guards he raped you?” asked the barrister.

“I don’t know,” she replied.

She denied telling lies so that the jury would find her guilty of manslaughter rather than murder.

Mr Clarke will continue his cross-examination of the accused on Thursday.