Lawyers acting for the man accused of murdering Armagh woman Katie Simpson have called for a detailed update on the progress of the case as: “We are now 15 months on and at the stage where we would like some sort of indication.”
Katie died just under a week after being allegedly rescued from a suicide attempt by her sister’s partner Jonathan Creswell in the house she shared with them, their children and another woman.
Aged 34 and with an address which cannot be published, Creswell is charged with murdering Katie on August 3, 2020, having discovering she spent the night with another male. She was 21.
A number of women have been reported to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) along with Creswell, although information on them came much later after his arrest.
It was previously disclosed two further suspects had been added to the case but that has now risen to four.
They were investigated after a witness came forward explaining she and Creswell had pre-arranged to meet at his house on the morning of the incidents while the other three women were at work and the children were with his mother.
During the latest hearing before Derry/Londonderry Magistrates’ Court a prosecuting lawyer confirmed the case is under active consideration and: “Liaison is continuing with police and senior counsel around expert evidence.”
However a defence barrister said: “As usual, when someone is in custody and we are before a High Court judge seeking bail in a very complicated case which will take a long time, there are a number of assurances about how straightforward and simple it is. I’d like a detailed update. We haven’t asked for a huge amount of detail, but we need to know where we are.”
District Judge Barney McElholme noted the full file was received from police on time and matters being looked at by the PPS “could delay things”.
The defence replied: “I take issue because the investigating officer told the court everything has been done in this case.”
Judge McElholme said: “That may be the honest opinion of the police officer, but a directing PPS officer may form a different view and seek other material. They may have directed a whole raft of new forensics. Senior counsel opinion will also take a certain amount of time. The directing officer may have asked if senior counsel are satisfied with the proofs.”
While accepting this the defence stressed: “We are now 15 months on and at the stage where we would like some sort of indication. Ee were told this case was front-loaded before the arrest.”
Adjourning until next month Judge McElholme said an update should be provided as to when matters can move to the next stage.