A 30-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his partner at her home in Dublin last year.
Gavin Murphy attacked and stabbed Jennifer Poole to death at her home Melville Drive in Finglas on 17 April last year.
The 24-year-old mother of two young children was stabbed seven times and was pronounced dead later in hospital.
Murphy, from Coultry Drive in Ballymun, admitted the offence and pleaded guilty to murder.
He has a history of violence against women and was previously been jailed for two years for attacking a former partner and her mother with a knife in 2015.
Mr Justice Paul Byrnes said this was another case of a violent attack by a partner on a young woman and sentenced Murphy to the mandatory term of life in prison.
Murphy was in a relationship with Ms Poole less than a year before he killed her. They met in May 2020 and he moved in to her home in Melville Drive in Finglas.
Ms Poole had two young children, a seven-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy. She was a carer who worked in Beneavin Nursing Home.
Friends noticed injuries
However, friends and family members noticed injuries on Ms Poole's face and body and while she made "benign" excuses, her family were deeply suspicious. The day before she died she asked her friend to take pictures of her injuries.
On 17 April 2021, Ms Poole’s neighbour and friend Danielle Tuffy heard smashing and noise coming from her home when Murphy was in it.
He had stayed at his uncle’s house that night, but returned to have a shower. Ms Tuffy warned Ms Poole not to return, but she came back and left her young son in the car.
Ms Tuffy then heard Ms Poole screaming "please don’t do this," and took her son out of the car. She put him along with her son into a bedroom and told them not to move before going to Jennifer’s house. Her son also heard his mother’s cry for help.
Ms Tuffy called to Ms Poole for help when she was at the front door and screamed to her in a high pitch to "kick the door in", but she could not manage it.
Ms Tuffy said she then saw her friend "slumped at the wall" and Murphy with a kitchen knife in his right hand held up to the side of Jennifer’s neck. He then wiped it with a bath towel, came to the front door and told Ms Tuffy to kick the door down.
She said he looked very strange and told him she could not kick it in. He then told her to "F*** off" and without opening the door walked to the back of the apartment, jumped over the balcony and walked away.
Gardaí arrived and broke down the door, but Ms Poole was pronounced dead in hospital at 2.55pm that afternoon.
Victim suffered seven stab wounds
She had been stabbed seven times in the front and back in her lungs and ribs, with "considerable force", suffering wounds of up to 8cm deep.
Murphy has a history of violence against women and was previously jailed for two years for attacking a previous partner and her mother.
He told gardaí before he was arrested that Ms Poole had pointed a knife at him and he "blanked" out, but that it was the knife that made him react the way he did.
However, Detective Chief Superintendent Finbar Murphy said afterwards that there was no evidence of this and that there was only one victim in this case and that was Jennifer Poole.
Ms Poole's brother David told the court that Jennifer was an adored mother who loved her children unconditionally.
He said they still live in fear and have nightmares about the things they witnessed while Murphy was with their mother.
"They go to school, but don’t get to bring home Mother’s Day or Easter cards to their mother. They did not deserve this," he said.
Mr Poole said they keep asking when she is coming back, but the real impact of this crime, which has changed their lives forever, has not hit them yet.
"No children should have to witness or go through what they went through," he said.
Ms Poole’s other brother Jason also gave a victim impact statement, saying Jennifer was murdered by a man she told she did not want anymore and her life was taken in the most horrendous circumstances, which they could not comprehend.
Afterwards, gardaí appealed to other victims of domestic violence to contact them and warned abusers that their behaviour was "unacceptable, abhorrent and toxic".
Detective Chief Superintendent Murphy also said that the case was a stark reminder that "we have a problem" in Ireland with domestic violence and abuse.