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Neighbour casts doubt on time of murder

A NEIGHBOUR saw Alison Shaughnessy arrive home from her work as a bank clerk at about the time one of her alleged killers was seen miles away, a jury has been told.

A statement was read out yesterday at the Old Bailey from Christina Wright, 74, in which she said she was watching the news on BBC 1 on the day Mrs Shaughnessy 21, was stabbed to death, and saw her return between 6pm and 6.30pm. Medical evidence suggests she died between 5.30pm and 6pm.

Michelle Taylor, 21 - the lover of John Shaughnessy, Alison Shaughnessy's husband - and her sister Lisa, 19, of Forest Hill, south London, deny murder on 3 June last year. Mr Shaughnessy has said in evidence he saw Michelle Taylor at the Churchill private health clinic in Lambeth, south London, where they worked, at about 6.20pm on the day of his wife's murder. They were arranging flowers together.

Trevor Burke, for Michelle Taylor, said Mrs Wright had the basement flat in the house in Vardens Road, Battersea, where Mrs Shaughnessy and her husband lived. Mrs Wright was too fragile to come to court.

The prosecution alleges Michelle Taylor stabbed Mrs Shaughnessy 54 times in a frenzy, aided by her sister.

In his closing speech, John Nutting, for the prosecution, admitted there were loose ends, including the sighting of an unidentified man on the steps outside Mrs Shaughnessy's home on the day she was killed.

The trial continues today, when Lady Mallalieu will make her defence speech.