Woman ‘jumped’ from window, schoolgirl tells court

The High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

The High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

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A SCHOOLGIRL has described to a jury seeing a woman dangling from the window of a multi-storey block and then “jumping” to her death.

Morgan Kenyon, 14, had been playing in the back garden of her home when she noticed the woman sitting on the window ledge with her legs on the outside, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

She said the woman leaned forward two or three times before going over. A short time later, she saw a man at the window.

Nicholas Conning, 45, also known as Nicholas Shepherd, is accused of the culpable homicide of Jennifer Findlay, 46, at Elders Court, Dundee, on 12 July last year. It is alleged he locked the door of her flat, preventing her escape, and struck her and caused her to fall from a window to the ground.

He also denies charges of assaulting Ms Findlay on earlier occasions.

Morgan said she was playing with her little brother and two young cousins and as she went to retrieve their ball, she looked up in the direction of the tower block.

“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,” added Morgan.

Her father, Damien Morgan, 36, a warehouse manager, said it took a few seconds for him to realise Morgan had been serious when she came in to tell him someone was hanging from a window of the multi storey. He looked up and knew she was “deadly serious.”

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. I did not want the kids to see it and shouted for my partner to get them in. 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.

Hannah Elder, 18, the dead woman’s daughter, said Ms Findlay and Conning had been partners when she was growing up, but the relationship ended.

“They were always fighting. Nicky would lift his hands,” said Ms Elder.

She told the jury that her mother was an alcoholic, and that her mother made repeated claims of being struck by Conning.

“He was always at her door and would not leave, and she had to leave her house and come and stay with me. She used to come in with split-open heads, black eyes and burst lips. She said it was Nicky. He would not leave her alone. No matter where she went, he would always find her,” added Ms Elder.

Lyn Finlay, 38, said she was visiting a neighbour and was on the landing when she heard shouting from Ms Findlay’s flat.

“I heard her say, ‘Let me out.’ The door was being pulled. I could hear her shouting at him, ‘Get off me...leave me alone.’ I could hear scuffling. It was obviously trying to get him out the way to get the door open. I shouted, ‘Are you alright?’ Jennifer said, ‘No.’ I shouted, ‘Nicky, open the door and let her out.’ I knew the two of them. I knew they had history,” said Ms Finlay.

She went into a neighbouring flat and came out a few minutes later, and it was quiet.

Ms Finlay accepted under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Neil Murray, QC, that she might have been under the influence of heroin at the time.

The trial continues.

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