Manchester mum of five murdered by fiance’s single punch after ‘taxi or bus’ row, court hears

A mum of five was murdered by her fiance with a ‘single devastating punch’ in an argument over whether to take a bus or a taxi home after a night out in Manchester, a court was told.

Eye-witnesses said that Ryan Ingham, 26, attacked Caroline Finegan with ‘incredible force’ having run quickly towards her and hitting her in the face.

The force of the punch broke her nose, her eye socket and swiveled her head so violently that it tore blood vessels in her neck.

When paramedics arrived to the scene near Shudehill bus station in Manchester city centre at around 1am on January 16, Miss Finegan was not breathing. She was pronounced dead later that day in hospital.

When Igham rang the emergency services, he could be heard telling his partner to ‘get up’ and even suggested she was faking her injuries.

At Manchester Crown Court, Ingham is on trial for murdering Miss Finegan, who he had become engaged to two months before the incident. He admits responsibility for her death but denies her murder.

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said: “In the early hours of January 16, a young lady was making her way home. She was walking through Manchester city and was floored by a single fatal blow. This is not a drunken brawl that spills into the street.

“This was an attack by Caroline Finegan’s partner Ryan Ingham. The defendant got into an argument with Miss Finegan possibly over whether they should take a taxi or bus to get home – the consequence which was to say he ran some distance up the road of Shudehill and struck his girlfriend with a devastating blow which she never recovered from.

“The blow he struck was sufficient to cause a fracture to her right eye socket and break her nose on the right-hand side. The examination of these injuries speaks to the force that defendant used.”

Evidence from CCTV showed the couple leaving Churchill’s bar in Chorlton Street in Manchester and making their way to Shudehill.

Mr McEntee said: “They appeared to be arguing. What appears to be apparent is that, by the time the footage moves to Shudehill, where the incident unfolded the couple no longer walk together.

“A taxi appears on the scene and Miss Finegan spoke to the driver before walking away (toward bus station). Thereafter the defendant emerges with the same taxi driver.

“The crown says that having done that he sets off running in the same directions as Miss Finegan in quite a determined manner (before punching her).

“In the evidence we are to hear a phone call to the emergency services from Ryan Ingham. He is heard to say ‘she passed out outside Shudehill bus station.’ In the background, you can hear him saying ‘get up.’ He also says ‘my girlfriend, she is passed out’.

“He says she has fallen over. He is heard saying ‘I do not know if she is faking or being real. She must have blacked out because she fell over.’ She did not fall over, she was punched. The defendant has now admitted his responsibility.

“When paramedics attended she was unresponsive, not breathing and had no pulse. A CT scan later revealed extensive sub-arachnoid bleeding in her brain. At 6.19pm on January 16, she was pronounced dead.

“In an interview with police, he said he had been arguing about whether to get a bus or taxi. When asked about it later he said it was more of a ‘bicker.’

“He also said that he thought that throughout the whole thing that Caroline had been pretending.”

Eyewitness Anthony O’Connor, a worker at Manchester Cathedral, said: “I noticed a gentleman run straight past me on my left side. He was in the middle of the road.

“He was running extremely fast. He ran at her at a really full speed and then came into contact with her and with the punch she completely fell to the ground.

“The one thing that affected me at that time and to this day is the way she fell to the ground. The only way I can describe it is if you had a bag of potatoes and if you drop them and they crumple. That is how she fell.

“As far as I am aware, the life left her instantly. She completely collapsed into the road. He did not stop running and ran four or five steps after.

“I could not see where the punch landed. I knew it was the upper part of the body. He punched her while he was running.

“He ran, kept on running and punched her. It was like someone hitting her in a motor car. I would say at about 40mph. It was with incredible force he hit her with. He picked up great speed.  She was then on the floor.

“I said to myself ‘what a way for a human being to go.’ There was total disrespect for human life. It was horrendous. He started to shake her like a rag doll.

“I think it was a total attack of thuggery. He had no respect of human life and not respect for that girl.  It was wanton thuggery. There is no excuse for it.”

Story via Cavendish Press

Image courtesy of Mikey with thanks

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