Katie Simpson family member brands sentencing of three woman 'a disgrace'

Three women who helped cover up for a man accused of murdering Co Armagh showjumper Katie Simpson have avoided jail. Jonathan Creswell, 36, was found dead at his home back in April the day after he went on trial for the murder of the 21-year-old.

Hayley Robb Credit: Pacemaker

Haley Robb who is 30 and from Weavers Meadow in Banbridge admitted cleaning up Ms Simpson's blood and washing Creswell's clothes following an incident at property at Gortnessy Meadows in August 2020 was sentenced to two years in prison, which was suspended for two years.

Rose De Montmorency-Wright Credit: Pacemaker

Rose Montmorency-Wright, 22, of Craiganlet Road Newtownards pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was given eight months jail which was also suspended for two years.

Jill Robinson Credit: Pacemaker

And 42-year-old Jill Robinson with an address at Blackfort Road in Omagh who also helped wash the jockey's clothes was sentenced to 16 months jail, suspended for two years.

It is accepted by the prosecution that all three believed they were covering up an assault not a murder. Katie died from her injuries at Altnagelivin Hospital on the 9th August.

Jonathan Creswell

The prosecution claimed Creswell the long term parter of Katie's sister was in an illicit relationship with the 21-year-old and he strangled her out of jealousy and tried to make her death look like suicide. The judge told the court this was entirely a "fiction created by Creswell" who was a "skilled predatory abuser." All three stood in the dock at times upset as the sentence was handed down. Katie's grandfather left the court saying it is a "disgrace".

PPS Senior Public Prosecutor Bronach McAuley, who had conduct of the case, said: “I would like to express my sympathy to Katie Simpson’s loved ones who have endured great pain and distress since her death almost four years ago.

"This was a particularly harrowing case, involving the violent death of a much-loved young woman with a promising future ahead of her.

Katie Simpson

"As Jonathan Creswell was found dead during his trial in April 2024, those proceedings can never run to conclusion. However, it was the prosecution’s case that Creswell was responsible for Ms Simpson’s death. It was also central to the prosecution’s case that he had covered up and lied about the circumstances of her death, to exculpate himself from blame.

“These three defendants have now been sentenced after pleading guilty to the individual parts they played in the aftermath of Ms Simpson’s death. While the prosecution accepted the defendants’ accounts that they believed that they were protecting Creswell from blame for an earlier assault by him upon Ms Simpson rather than her murder, they have nonetheless been convicted of serious criminality.

“We would like to commend Ms Simpson’s family and friends for the courage, strength and dignity they have shown throughout the investigation and the court process.

“I want to underline the seriousness with which we in the PPS take every case involving suspected domestic abuse. We consider every case of domestic abuse carefully, sensitively, and objectively. We will prosecute cases at their height if there is the evidence to do so.

“If you think you are experiencing domestic abuse in any form, please do not suffer in silence – please report your experiences to police. Our prosecutors are trained to recognise the complex features of domestic abuse, including indicators of coercive control, and we work with police to ensure victims are treated sensitively and with respect.”

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