Murder trial told of plea for help

A WOMAN ran into a public house screaming for help after finding the body of a person she said was a friend, an Old Bailey court was told yesterday.

Ian Finlay, an architect, said he was drinking in a pub in Battersea, south-west London, when a young woman came into the pub in extreme distress.

The prosecution says the woman was Michelle Taylor who, with her sister Lisa, is accused of murdering the 'friend', Alison Shaughnessy.

It claims that the pair murdered Mrs Shaughnessy at the door of her home in Battersea then left the building. Michelle Taylor allegedly returned later giving her lover, John Shaughnessy, Mrs Shaughnessy's husband, a lift to the flat to find the body.

Mr Finlay said the woman who rushed into the public house 'was very disturbed about something. That was the impression she gave to everyone in the bar. She said 'Help me, help me. Call the police - my friend is dead.' She repeated that at least two or three times. The girl was clearly agitated.'

Mr Finlay and two other men went with her to see what they could do.

Michelle Taylor, 21, a domestic worker, and Lisa Taylor, 18, a window cleaner, both from Forest Hill, south London, deny murdering Mrs Shaughnessy on 3 June last year.

The trial was adjourned until Monday.