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Owen Kerry murder trial RECAP: Accused denies seeing knife in Christmas Eve stabbing trial


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Two people are standing trial accused of murdering teenager Owen Kerry on Christmas Eve.

Brian Cahill and Lyndsey Harper are accused of killing Owen at a social club in Cramlington, Northumberland, which they deny.

The 19-year-old was allegedly stabbed in an attack at Cramlington Working Men’s Club on December 24.

Police were called to the club at 10.30pm on Christmas Eve following a report from the ambulance service that a man had been injured.

Owen, who lived in Cramlington, was treated by paramedics at the scene and was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, but died in the early hours of Christmas Day.

Cahill, 35, of Northern Terrace, Dudley and Harper, 36, of Queens Gardens, Annitsford, both North Tyneside, are accused of a joint attack, with Cahill alleged to have delivered the fatal blow. Both deny murder.

This afternoon there will be legal argument which we cannot report.

The jury have been sent home until tomorrow morning when barristers are expected to begin making their closing speeches in the case.

That concludes our live coverage of the case for today.

Mr Robertson: “Your only way out of the fact you are guilty of murder is to say (witnesses) are lying.”

Harper replied: “I think lying is a strong word but people give different accounts of things.

“That’s why no one person says the same thing.

“There was a lot of people around and I’ve told the truth from day one.”

Harper has now completed her evidence and returns to the dock.

Asked about an alleged comment she made to the prison officer that “we stabbed him”, Harper said: “Again that doesn’t make sense, it’s a single stab wound. How can we both stab him?”

Mr Robertson: “Because you did your level best to assist your boyfriend.”

Harper replied: “Absolutely not.”

Mr Robertson: “This was a pincer movement, you from behind, your boyfriend from in front. That’s why you said to (the prison officer) ‘It was both of us really’, because it was, wasn’t it?”

Harper replied: “No.”

Harper denies putting bleach on clothing to hide evidence.

Mr Robertson: “What happened was this. Owen Kerry went over to your boyfriend, Brian Cahill, there was a confrontation. You’re behind Owen and you think there is going to be trouble between your boyfriend and Owen and to help your boyfriend you decided to attack Owen from behind. That’s exactly what happened.”

Harper replied: “You couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Mr Robertson: “And at the same time your boyfriend went forward with a knife and stabbed the man you had just attacked with a glass. That’s exactly what happened, isn’t it?”

Harper replied: “Far from the truth again.”

Mr Robertson: “You have chosen to omit the fact you attempted to glass Owen Kerry.”

Harper replied: “Absolutely not, the glass was still in my hand.”

Mr Robertson: “You tried to hit Owen Kerry with a glass in the head twice and that’s why Hayden Brown swiped your feet from under you.”

Harper: “Absolutely not.”

Mr Robertson: “You deny even attempting to glass him?’

Harper: “I absolutely do, yes.”

Harper said she had taken heroin in the morning and admits she was out to get “obliterated” that night.

Mr Robertson says: “You were out to cause trouble?”

Harper replied: “Absolutely not.”

Mr Robertson asked: “Did Brian produce the knife and wash it in your presence?’

Harper said: “He put the tap on and opened the back door and went out with the dog. That must have been when he did it. I didn’t see it with my own eyes.”

Harper is now being cross-examined by prosecutor Andrew Robertson QC, who says: “As you left the club and you wanted to stay and were asking Brian why he was rushing, Brian said to you ‘I’ve stabbed a lad’.”

Harper replies: “I would not be able to hear that. I heard the word ‘stabbed’.”

Peter Makepeace QC, for Cahill, asks Harper: “You can’t help us about how Owen Kerry came by his injury?”

Harper: “No.”

Mr Makepeace: “Back at the house you say he told you something about a knife, that he feared a lad might have been injured with a knife?”

Harper: “Yes.”

Harper said: “I can’t be 100% sure, somebody said ‘stab’.”

Mr Woodcock: “When you went out that night did you know he had a knife with him?”

Harper: “Obviously not, no.”

Mr Woodcock: “When you were in the club did you at any time see a knife in Brian’s hand?”

Harper: “No.”

Harper is asked about alleged comments she made to a prison officer at Low Newton about the incident.

She says what she in fact said was: “Did you know I was in for murder Miss”.

Harper told the court: “I said in short ‘we have both been nicked but he stabbed him so I’ve gone not guilty. **** that’.”

Harper: “I asked him where he had been when I had that carry on. He said the first thing he knew about it was coming across the dance floor.

“He told me he had stabbed somebody.

“He said something about being pushed over.

“To be honest I didn’t believe him.”

Mr Woodcock: “Did you and Brian have any conversation about the use of that word ‘stab’ later on?”

Harper: “We did, yes. I just wanted to know what was going on.

“I asked him what had happened.

“I was more concerned about where he was when what had happened to me.

“I didn’t think for one minute anything serious had happened.”

Harper says they left the club and got in a taxi.

She said: “I tried to have a conversation and Brian said ‘sh’ until we get out of the taxi.

“He asked for a kiss and I gave him a kiss.”

Harper: “Brian said we needed to leave. I told him I was not leaving.
“I can’t be sure exactly word for word, I just know I heard the word ‘stabbed’.”

Harper says the next time she saw Cahill he didn’t say anything but grabbed her round the waist and tried to get her to leave but she didn’t want to go.

Asked why, she said: “It had went from being such a good night to everything going pear-shaped. I wanted answers, I wanted to know who had done what.

“I told Brian to get his hands off me.”

Harper continues:

Somebody grabbed me from behind and swiped my legs away and I got starfished.

I went to the floor with some force.

I was repeatedly kicked.

Harper continues:

As quick as it started, everybody pulled us away from each other.

There were a few words exchanged between everybody, everybody was shouting.

Then my hair got ragged from the side. I toppled over to the side.

I don’t know if I was hit or the force of hitting the floor but I seen a flash in my eyes.

I managed to get back up.

I leaned over to my table, picked up a pint glass and swilled the woman I thought was responsible for doing that to me.

Harper says she was dancing with a girl and “blocking” Connor Frost from dancing with the girl.

She was then talking to a lad called Jordan and said Connor came and pulled Jordan away.

She said:

Jordan came back to talk to me and Connor Frost put his hand in my face and told me to go away.

I pushed his shoulder and said ‘what the **** are you doing’.

He put his hand out again.

I lashed out. I missed the first time and I punched him the second time.

Asked by her barrister, Robert Woodcock QC, if she behaved well in the club, Harper replied: “I acted inappropriately maybe at the beginning but at the end I acted appallingly.”

Harper says she was dancing “inappropriately” in the club.

Harper says she was taking a number of drugs at the time, including methadone and temazepam.

She says on Christmas Eve she had been to deliver Christmas presents with Cahill and they visited pubs before going to the working men’s club.

Cahill is finished giving evidence.

Harper is now called to the witness box to give evidence.

She is wearing a black top, blue jeans, black boots and has long brown hair.

Mr Robertson: “It was a deliberate, cowardly attack with a knife on an unarmed youth and you are not man enough to admit it, are you?”

Cahill: “I would admit it if it were true.”

Mr Robertson: “You both attacked him unlawfully and with the use of that knife, you killed him.”

Cahill: “I did kill him with that knife.”

Mr Robertson: “You murdered him.”

Cahill: “It was an accident.”

Mr Robertson: “Not only did you make the threats, you carried them out by deliberately stabbing him.”

Cahill: “No.”

Mr Robertson: “You and Lyndsey had Owen between you, you made threats and you both attacked together, her with a glass and you with a knife.”

Cahill: “No.”

Cahill admits saying words to the effect of “I’m going to get one of yous” to Owen and his friends.

Asked why, he said: “Because I had been attacked, I had been pushed over.”

Cahill says he said it after Owen had moved away.

Mr Robertson said: “That’s nonsense, you made the threat before stabbing Owen Kerry, didn’t you?”

Cahill: “No.”

Mr Robertson: “You thought if you accidentally stabbed someone you would be guilty of murder?’

Cahill: “I did yeah.”

Mr Robertson: “That’s another lie isn’t it?”

Cahill: “No.”

Mr Robertson: “If the truth is as you told the jury yesterday and you are innocent and have an innocent explanation, why on earth didn’t you tell the police that at the time?”

Cahill replied: “I didn’t know I was innocent. I didn’t understand the law.

“I didn’t know if I didn’t intentionally stab someone I was not guilty of murder.”

Brian Cahill is back in the witness box and is being cross-examined by prosecutor Andrew Robertson QC.
He agrees he told a “pack of lies” to the police after his arrest.



View the full article at The Chronicle


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