Man accused of killing his partner’s sister has borrowed thousands of pounds from women, court said
A MAN accused of killing his partner’s sister is an alleged womanizer who has borrowed thousands of pounds from women, the High Court has heard.
Jonathan Cresswell (33) has been charged with the murder of Katie Simpson, 21, as part of an investigation into her initially alleged hanging.
Ms Simpson died in hospital following an incident at an address in Gortnessy Meadows, Derry, on August 3 last year.
At first, it was thought that she had committed suicide.
Despite continued uncertainty as to the cause of death, prosecutors say Mr Cresswell, of Briar Hill Gardens in Greysteel, can now be charged with murder based on other evidence and “deficiencies” in his account.
When he applied for bail, the court heard that he was the longtime partner of Ms Simpson’s older sister.
But crown attorney Robin Steer claimed Mr Cresswell had sex with the alleged victim.
It was further claimed that Mr Cresswell was dating other women, including a 10-year affair with a single named “H”.
One of them said she gave him money and guaranteed a loan of £ 15,000 taken out by the accused, a judge said.
He is also said to have received £ 10,000 from another woman on loan from the Credit Union.
Mr Steer said: “From what I understood from the police, he was also talking to Katie’s mother about a loan while the deceased was being treated in the intensive care unit.”
As part of Mr Cresswell’s request for release, £ 10,000 has been posted as potential bail, with additional money available.
Judge O’Hara commented: “He should have more cash on hand, as he has (allegedly) borrowed heavily from young women over the years.”
Describing the case against Mr Cresswell as circumstantial, defense attorney insisted there was no direct evidence of involvement in the murder.
“There are some very important issues surrounding causation,” said Kieran Mallon QC.
Addressing the post-mortem findings, he argued that hanging has not been ruled out as a potential cause of death.
Mr. Mallon also challenged the admissibility of separate claims made about his client’s past behavior.
“The prosecution seems to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, in this case,” he said.
Referring to Mr Cresswell’s alleged relationships with women, the lawyer emphasized: “You can be a womanizer and not a murderer.”
But Judge O’Hara replied, “He’s not just a womanizer… on the prosecution case he’s got loans from his current partner’s deceased sister.”
Adjourning the hearing for two weeks, he asked for the medical records and the pathologist’s report.
“There is a question mark at the start of this case on the murder charge, how well founded it is,” said the judge.
“Mr. Cresswell cannot be denied bail on the grounds that he is not a very nice guy. “