The aunt of a woman jointly charged with murder today (Tuesday) revealed she would have contacted the PSNI had she known the victim was subjected to a vicious assault two days before he died.
Owen “Fonzie” Creaney (40) sustained fatal head and chest injuries including a fractured breastbone when he was attacked at a house in Craigavon in the early hours of Thursday July 3rd, 2014.
Stephen Thomas Hughes (29) and his 25-year old co-accused Shaunean Boyle have been jointly charged with Mr Creaney’s murder, and blame each other for the fatal attack.
As the trial at Belfast Crown Court entered its second week, an aunt of Boyle’s said she overheard a telephone conversation between her niece and Hughes on the afternoon of Thursday July 3.
The mother-of-two told the court she heard Boyle ask Hughes whether Fonzie was still sleeping.
The witness said she asked her niece what had happened, to which Boyle replied that Fonzie had fallen over and banged his head, and that he was sleeping at Hughes’s Moyraverty Court home.
The witness said Boyle also told her Fonzie’s breathing was heavy.
She said: “I told her she would need to watch, he might have concussion, and if it gets worse he should go to hospital.”
She was also asked whether or not her niece told her that the reason why Fonzie was sleeping was because he had been punched and kicked by Hughes. She tearfully replied: “She never suggested anything like that... if she had I would have rung the police.”
The witness said that after advising her niece that Mr Creaney may be suffering from concussion, Boyle told her she would keep an eye on him.
The woman was also asked about contact she had with her niece over the period spanning from Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th July. She said that Boyle arrived at her house to babysit on Thursday 3rd - the same day she overheard Boyle talking to Hughes - and that she left the following morning with her young son.
During the early hours of Saturday 5th, the woman said she received a text message from Boyle saying ‘you are the only person who has been there for me.’ At this stage, Boyle began crying in the dock.
The witness also revealed she contacted Boyle on Saturday morning to see if she could babysit, but received a text from Boyle saying she was ‘helping Hughsey clean the house.’
The jury also heard evidence from other of Boyle’s aunts, who saw her around 4pm on Saturday 5th. Boyle was in a police car, and said to her aunt “take the child, Fonzie is dead.” Boyle then said “he is dead, he beat the f*** out of him” and when asked who ‘he’ was, she replied “Hughsey.”