Ex-beauty salon boss stabbed to death in street minutes before daughter came home – Heywood man in court

A Greater Manchester man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death in the street appeared in court today charged with murdering the former beauty salon boss.

Cherylee Shennan, 40, was stabbed to death in the street as she fled her hillside cottage shortly before her 13-year old daughter was about to arrive home from school.

Eye witnesses saw her kneeling in the road as her killer rained blows down on her.

The incident occurred at 3pm on Monday afternoon after witnesses saw a disturbance outside Miss Shennan’s £63,000 terraced cottage.

Neighbours said they had heard a row before seeing Miss Shennan knelt on the floor in a neighbouring street as her attacker appeared to be ‘punching’ her.

An air ambulance was scrambled to the scene whilst paramedics tried to revive the woman but Miss Shennan was pronounced dead before she could be taken to hospital.

A post mortem examination revealed she died of multiple stab wounds.

Police arrested a suspect in a nearby garden shortly after the attack when officers sprayed him with CS gas. It is believed a kitchen knife was recovered at the scene.

A close relative of Miss Shennan was abroad at the time of the death and was informed of the tragedy when she arrived back in Britain.

Today the dead woman’s boyfriend Paul O’Hara, 41, from Heywood, appeared in court charged with murder, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to a detective sergeant and assaulting a policewoman with intent to resist arrest.

Miss Shennan had been dating O’Hara after splitting up from the father of her teenage daughter, Graham Leach. The couple’s two husky dogs are now being cared for in kennels.

The tragedy occurred ten years after businesswoman Miss Shennan and her then partner Mr Leach, 38, who ran a property company, had quit Manchester for a new life on the Pennine hills at Rawtenstall.

Nicknamed ‘Chez’, she set up her own beauty salon in the town and vowed to make it one of the UK’s top 10 within two years – holding a champagne launch party and inviting her local newspaper.

But the salon shut down and she worked with Mr Leach at his now defunct loft insulation firm.

In 2009 she enrolled on a foundation degree in forensic science at the University of Central Lancashire but failed to complete the course and ended up working as a carer.

One neighbour said: ”Chez was lovely, friendly woman who knew a lot of people in the area.”

The neighbour added Miss Shennan, who was often seen walking her huskies, and Mr Leach appeared to still be on good terms.

“Sometimes I would see Graham walking the huskies and was still coming back to decorate the house,” she said.

”Graham is a workaholic and was a grand man. It’s just tragic – and I feel for him and his daughter.”

O’Hara, of Honiton Close, Heywood, appeared at Burnley Magistrates Court and was brought into the dock handcuffed to one of two security staff.

Wearing a black short sleeved T-shirt displaying a tattoo on his right arm, he spoke to confirm his name, age and address. The charges were read to him and he was told to sit down.

He is charged with the Miss Shennan’s murder, maliciously wounding Det Sgt Damian McAlister with intent and assaulting Det Con Karen Kenworthy with intent to resist arrest.

No pleas were entered.

Prosecutor Sophie Lorimer asked for the case to be transferred to Preston Crown Court. There was no application for bail and O’Hara was remanded in custody.

He will appear before a judge for a preliminary hearing tomorrow.

Story via Cavendish Press.

Image courtesy of Ray Forster, via Flickr, with thanks.

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