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Saturday 19 October 2019

Accused said 'Don't call an ambulance', murder trial hears

Paula Farrell is charged with the murder of Wayne McQuillan on New Year’s morning 2014. Photo: Court Collins
Paula Farrell is charged with the murder of Wayne McQuillan on New Year’s morning 2014. Photo: Court Collins

A murder trial has heard that a woman allegedly told teenagers not to call an ambulance after the wounded boyfriend she admits killing asked them to do so.

The Central Criminal Court jury was hearing the opening speech yesterday in the trial of Paula Farrell (46), who is charged with the murder of Wayne McQuillan (30), in her Louth home on New Year's morning five years ago.

Ms Farrell, of Rathmullan Park, Drogheda, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr McQuillan, but guilty to his manslaughter by stabbing him four times at that address on January 1, 2014.

The plea was not accepted and she went on trial yesterday afternoon.

Alcohol

Gerard Clarke SC told the jury that the victim, who was known as 'Quilly', was more than 10 years younger than his partner at the time of the killing.

He was living with his parents elsewhere in Drogheda but often stayed overnight with Ms Farrell, who lived with her young child.

"It seems neither paid much attention to the recommended daily allowance of alcohol," he said.

The barrister said the couple had been drinking quite a lot in the house that New Year's Eve and that an argument had developed between them.

"During the course of that argument, Paula Farrell took a large kitchen knife from one of those blocks with knives, and stabbed him a total of four times," he added, explaining that the jury would see the knife in due course.

"Three of them penetrated the flesh of Wayne McQuillan and struck bone.

"They weren't fatal. But one stab with the knife did penetrate into the body and you'll hear it was a downward blow," he said.

He explained that the knife had cut quite a large blood vessel, about the diameter of an average little finger. The wound caused massive bleeding internally and externally.

Mr Clarke said that the pathologist would testify that the knife had then penetrated the left lung, and a lot of air had also escaped.

"It would seem that blow may have been struck in the kitchen," he said, adding that the jury would see photographs from the scene.

"You'll see significant quantities of blood in the hall to the front door, because he made his way from the kitchen to the front door."

The prosecutor told the jury that there were some teenagers outside in a green area and that Mr McQuillan had shouted that he had been stabbed and asked them to call an ambulance.

Knife

"Paula Farrell came to the door and said, a witness will say, 'Don't call an ambulance'. She had a tea towel in her hands and was cleaning her hands," he said.

"It seems she went back into the house and began to clean up."

Mr Clarke said gardai later found the large knife used in the sink, and that there had been "some obvious attempt" to wipe up blood.

He explained that people had called both an ambulance and gardai.

However, the ambulance was about 20 minutes away so the officers took Mr McQuillan to hospital in a garda car.

The trial continues this morning before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury of eight women and four men.

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