Woman in murder case 'felt used'

MICHELLE TAYLOR felt used by the lover she described as an 'Irish charmer' when he got engaged to the woman who later became his wife, an Old Bailey jury was told yesterday

Miss Taylor, 21, who is accused of the murder of Alison Shaughnessy, stopped speaking to John Shaughnessy for a couple of months before resuming their relationship.

Det Sgt Gerry Gallagher told the court how he questioned Miss Taylor about her relationship with Mr Shaughnessy after she was arrested on 7 August last year.

She and her sister, Lisa, 18, of Kemble Road, Forest Hill, south London, have denied murder on 3 June 1991. The prosecution alleges that Mrs Shaughnessy, 21, was stabbed 54 times in a jealous rage.

Det Sgt Gallagher said he had been told by Michelle that she felt 'used' when she discovered Mr Shaughnessy had become engaged to Alison. She had told him (Det Sgt Gallagher) she would not be content just being 'the permanent lover'.

Miss Taylor allegedly told police that after finding Alison's body in the Shaughnessys' flat, she 'went to see if she was breathing'. 'When I touched her arm she was like stone. She had blood in her eyes - her mouth was open. There was no pulse, no breathing. Her eyes were bloodshot. I thought then she was dead.'

After seeking help from a nearby pub, she returned to the flat, stroked Alison's hair and pulled her skirt down, Det Sgt Gallagher said she told him.

'There was a man on the landing - I do not know who he was,' she had said. After police interviews, Miss Taylor said everything she had told the police was true. She had been shopping in Bromley with her sister on the afternoon of the killing.

The trial continues today.

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