A man who killed two of his children and murdered his new girlfriend six years later is facing life in prison.
A jury found that Jordan Monaghan, from Blackburn, a manipulative and controlling gambling addict, obstructed the airways of his children in separate murders in January and August 2013.
Their deaths were initially treated as sudden and unexplained. Monaghan’s daughter, Ruby, was just 24 days old when she died on New Year’s Day. Suo fratello, Logan, era 21 months old when he died on 17 agosto.
Al tempo, Ruby’s death was attributed to bronchiolitis and Logan’s cause of death remained “unascertained”. Monaghan gave interviews after the deaths and he suggested the children may have been born with genetic abnormalities.
His fiance at the time, Laura Gray, said then that the couple had decided not to have any more children until they received the results of genetic testing. She could be heard weeping in the public gallery on Friday as the jury returned their guilty verdicts.
Six years after Ruby and Logan died, Monaghan murdered his new girlfriend, Evie Adams, poisoning her with prescription drugs on 24 ottobre 2019. He faked a suicide note to deflect attention from his latest crime.
Monaghan killed because he could not face rejection by his partners, Preston crown court heard during his 10-week trial.
The 30-year-old construction worker denied all three murders, as well as twice attempting to kill a third child in September and October 2016, again by obstructing their breathing.
The court heard Monaghan smothered Ruby as she slept in her Moses basket when he was alone with the child as her mother slept upstairs at the family home. Eight months later, after Gray discovered her boyfriend owed thousands of pounds in gambling debts, she told him the relationship was over.
The next day he took Logan to a local swimming pool, Waves, in Blackburn. While alone in a cubicle in the changing rooms he smothered the child, the jury heard.
Both children had been seen by medics in the days and months before their deaths, but other than usual childhood illnesses no serious medical condition was found.
A review was carried out by Lancashire police after further information came to light and Monaghan was arrested and bailed on suspicion of murder in January 2018.
As the complex police investigation continued, Monaghan began a “toxic” relationship with 23-year-old Adams, who had suffered “chronic abuse” before being put into foster care at age 12.
Police warned her not to be with him and a court order was made banning contact. But the relationship continued and, while on bail for the murder of his children, Monaghan killed her after she threatened to dump him.
Monaghan told her: “I won’t keep putting up with you saying we are over.”
The defendant illegally bought strong prescription drugs on the illegal market via WhatsApp and other contacts. Over a five-day period, Monaghan administered tramadol, diazepam, amitriptyline, zopiclone and pregabalin to her until she overdosed and died.
He faked a suicide note, discovered apparently by chance falling out of a picture frame as he removed the couple’s favourite photo of themselves to place in her coffin.
Monaghan was rearrested in January this year and charged with all three murders. He claimed to have nothing to do with the death of his children, but a dozen experts told the court that while the exact cause of the deaths was difficult to pinpoint, imposed airway obstruction was either “likely” or could not be ruled out.
Martin Hill, the deputy head of the Crown Prosecution Service north-west complex casework unit, disse: “Jordan Monaghan’s cruelty is beyond belief and the ruthlessness of these murders is harrowing. It is difficult to comprehend the depravity that went into planning and committing these murders.
“Three innocent people needlessly lost their lives due to Monaghan’s utter selfishness. Together the CPS and Lancashire police were able to build a strong case against him by ensuring all possible medical explanations for the deaths of the children could be discounted.
“I cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering that Monaghan’s actions have caused to the families of the victims. They have conducted themselves with the upmost dignity and been incredibly brave and patient throughout.
“Nothing can make up for the loss of their loved ones, but we can only hope, following today’s verdicts, they feel justice has been done. Our thoughts remain with the families.”
Monaghan will be sentenced at 3pm on Friday.