Northern Ireland

Jonathan Creswell: Katie Simpson murder accused found dead

Horse-trainer went on trial this week

The horse-trainer who went on trial accused of murdering and raping a young female showjumper has died, Coleraine Crown Court heard this morning.

Jonathan Creswell (36) had denied the murder and rape of 21-year-old Katie Simpson. His trial began yesterday.

Ms Simpson died following an incident in Gortnessy Meadows at Lettershandoney in Co Derry on August 3 2020.

She died in Altnagelvin Hospital six days later, having never regained consciousness.

Prosecuting counsel Sam Magee KC told the court “Jonathan Creswell was found deceased at his home this morning.”

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Gibson was called to the witness box and advised he had received information that, “At 9.00am this morning police in Derry confirmed a male had been found deceased. Life was pronounced extinct 20 minutes later and “A family member confirmed it was Mr Jonathan Creswell.”

The death is not suspicious and the coroner has been informed.

Judge Neil Rafferty KC addressed the jury stating under these circumstances, they are discharged as the trial process in terms of Creswell has concluded.

Meanwhile, sentencing against the three co-accused women who pleaded guilty before Creswell’s trial began will now be brought forward.