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Katie Simpson died in August 2020
By Matt Fox

The man accused of murdering and raping a young female showjumper has died, a court has heard.

Jonathan Creswell, 36, had denied the murder and rape of Katie Simpson. His trial began yesterday.

Ms Simpson died following an incident in Gortnessy Meadows, Lettershandoney, on 3 August 2020.

The 21-year-old, who was from the village of Tynan in County Armagh, died in Altnagelvin Hospital six days later, having never regained consciousness.

On Wednesday, prosecuting counsel Sam Magee KC told the court Mr Creswell “was found deceased at his home this morning”.

Det Ch Insp Mark Gibson was called to the witness box and advised he had received information that at 09:00 BST police in Londonderry confirmed a male has been found dead.

A family member confirmed it was Jonathan Creswell.

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

Judge Neil Rafferty KC told the jury they are discharged as the trial process in terms of Mr Creswell has concluded.

Jonathan Cresswell was found dead at home on Wednesday morning

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

Jill Robinson, 42, from Blackfort Road in Omagh, has admitted perverting the course of justice on 3 August 2020.

Rose De Montmorency-Wright, 22, from Craigantlet Road in Newtownards, County Down, has admitted withholding information between 9 October 2020 and 13 October 2021.

She lived with Mr Creswell and his partner Christina Simpson – Katie Simpson’s sister – at the time.

Hayley Robb, 30, from Weavers Meadow in Banbridge, County Down, has admitted withholding information and two charges of perverting the course of justice.