Stephen Cahoon begins giving evidence in his retrial

A Derry man accused of murdering the mother of his unborn child has begun giving evidence at his retrial.

Stephen Cahoon, 39, admits killing Jean Quigley at her home in Cornshell Fields, in Derry, on 26 July 2008 but he denies murder. He was arrested in Donegal shortly after the killing.

n July 2009, a jury at Dublin's Central Criminal Court failed to reach a verdict and a retrial was ordered.

That retrial is now underway, and Cahoon has now begun his evidence, telling the court that he strangled Jean Quigley to death after she had told him the child she was carrying was not his and that she was going to have an abortion.

Cahoon said he grabbed her by the throat for about 30 seconds, and she "turned purple".

He admitted leaving the scene and using a false name to get a taxi, fleeing to Donegal. He then went to Galway, and back to Donegal where he was arrested by gardai.

Under cross-examination Cahoon denied going to the house with the intention of killing Ms Quigley, and said he did not call an ambulance or the police because he hoped she was still alive.

The case continues at the Central Criminal Court today.