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Sunday 22 September 2019

Blood-covered body looked like Liverpool shirt, man tells trial

Paula Farrell has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Wayne McQuillan
Paula Farrell has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Wayne McQuillan

A pathologist has told a murder trial that "there would be a reasonable expectation at least of survival" had the victim received prompt attention for his stab wounds.

Other witnesses testified that there was so much blood on Wayne McQuillan's bare upper body while he waited for an ambulance that they thought he was wearing a Liverpool jersey.

They were giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of Paula Farrell (46), who is charged with murdering her boyfriend Mr McQuillan in her Drogheda home five years ago.

Ms Farrell, of Rathmullen Park, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr McQuillan (30), but guilty to his manslaughter by stabbing him four times on January 1, 2014.

Party

The jury heard from a number of witnesses, who came on the scene. Two of these had left a New Year's Eve party nearby, after hearing that someone had been stabbed.

"When I first saw him, I thought he was wearing a red Liverpool football jersey," said Colm Reynolds. "When I got closer I realised it was all blood."

The court heard that the ambulance was so delayed that Mr McQuillan was eventually taken to hospital in the back of a Garda car.

The court previously heard details of Ms Farrell's injuries following her arrest, including a bite mark to her face. She had said: "He attacked me."

The Deputy State Pathologist yesterday outlined the injuries he found on Mr McQuillan's body during a post-mortem.

Dr Michael Curtis said he died of a stab wound to his shoulder, which sliced a substantial blood vessel before going right through his lung.

Wayne McQuillan
Wayne McQuillan

He described dozens of bruises and scratches found on his face and body, some of which appeared to be fingernail scratches. "These were all recent. They indicated a fracas or struggle," he said.

Dr Curtis also found four stab wounds, one to the chest, one to the right upper arm and two to the front of the left shoulder.

The wounds to the left shoulder had proved fatal. "That's a severe wound. It sliced a big vein. It's also punctured the lung," Dr Curtis said.

The witness was asked to examine two knives found at the scene, one larger than the other.

While the wound to the right upper arm could have been caused by either knife, he said "the relatively large size of the others" would be more consistent with their infliction by the larger knife, which had a 20cm-long blade.

He also said high levels of alcohol were recorded in Mr McQuillan's system.

Blow

Dr Curtis agreed with Caroline Biggs SC, defending, that putting some of the minor hand injuries together might suggest that a blow had been delivered by the deceased.

Scratches to the kneecaps could be consistent with falling or being moved, he said, and those to the toe could have been caused by being lifted or knocked against something.

He was asked about whether the fatal stab wound had been incompatible with life.

"Certain injuries are incompatible with life," he said. "Others, with prompt attention, prompt rescue, correction of bleeding and so on, they are at least potentially survivable. This would fall into this category."

The trial continues on Monday.

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