Pregnant woman died due to ‘manual strangulation’, court told

Jury in Stephen Cahoon murder trial told Jean Quigley 10 weeks pregnant at time of death

Stephen Cahoon (43) of Harvey Street, Derry, Northern Ireland, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Jean Teresa Quigley (30) in 2008. Photograph: Collins Courts

Stephen Cahoon (43) of Harvey Street, Derry, Northern Ireland, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Jean Teresa Quigley (30) in 2008. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

The jury in a murder trial has heard that the deceased, who was 10 weeks pregnant, died due to “manual strangulation”.

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

Taking the stand at the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday , Professor Jack Crane told Mr Patrick Marinan, SC prosecuting, that he had visited the scene at Cornshell fields on July 28th.

“I noted the body of a woman lying on her left side with her face resting on a bloodstained duvet,” he said.

“She (Ms Quigley) was naked apart from a pair of socks — her feet were towards the headboard,” he continued.

“There was bloodstain fluid from the mouth and her face was reddish purple in colour, much more than you would normally expect,” he said.

Following internal examination, Professor Crane found the deceased had been pregnant at the time of death.

“An examination of the uterus showed it to be enlarged. It contained a male embryo weighing four grammes — at the time of this womans death, she was about 10 weeks pregnant,” he said.

He concluded: “The neck injuries were consistent with congestion of the skin and of the face. Taken in their totality, the injuries to the neck indicate forcible compression of the neck that would be sufficient to interfere with breathing resulting in death”.

“Death was due to a manual strangulation,” he said.

Under cross examination by defending counsel, Michael O’Higgins, Professor Crane said that he was “not convinced” that bruising could have been caused by performing CPR.

The trial continues this afternoon before Miss Justice Deirdre Murphy and a jury of eight men and four women.