Dundee man cleared of killing tower block fall woman

Conning was cleared at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

Conning was cleared at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

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A MAN has been acquitted of killing his former partner in a fall from the window of a multi-storey block.

Nicholas Conning, 45, was accused of the culpable homicide of Jennifer Findlay, 46, at her home in Elders Court, Dundee, but a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence and freed Conning.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Conning, also known as Nicholas Shepherd, and Ms Findlay had been in a turbulent and violent relationship for a number of years, and continued to see each other after separating.

They were in Ms Findlay’s fifth floor flat on 12 July last year, and she was seen sitting on the window ledge with her legs dangling on the outside of the building.

A schoolgirl who had been playing in her back garden nearby described to a jury what had happened.

Morgan Kenyon, 14, said: “I saw a lady hanging out her window...she leaned forward, about three times, then she jumped out. I saw a man about a minute afterwards. I’m sure it was at the same window.”

The teenager had alerted her father, Damien Morgan, 36, and he said: “One hand was holding the handle above her head and the other hand was on the sill. She kept looking over her shoulder. She was very, very agitated. It was like someone was distracting her inside the house. I realised she was going to drop. The lady jumped or fell...she just dropped.”

Mr Morgan rushed to the scene but it was obvious the woman was dead.

“Stupidly, I was talking to her, telling her help was on its way. I knew it was pretty hopeless but...” he stated.

The charge had alleged that Conning locked the door of the flat, preventing Ms Findlay’s escape, and struck her and caused her to fall from a window to the ground.

However, Lord Burns upheld a submission by the defence counsel, Neil Murray, QC, that there was not enough evidence to allow the case to go to the jury, and the judge acquitted Conning.

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