A murder trial has heard a young Co Donegal mother of two, Jasmine McMonagle, had “a brutal death.”
She was found “lying in a pool of blood” when gardaí forced entry to her Killygordon home after a three-hour standoff with the accused in the early hours of January 4, 2019.
Richard Burke, with an address in Killygordon but originally from Donegal town, has pleaded not guilty to the murder but guilty of her manslaughter at the Central Criminal Court sitting in County Monaghan today.
Jasmine McMonagle was weeks from her 29th birthday when she was killed in her home where she lived with her two children, including an 18-month-old who is the daughter of Mr Burke.
Opening the trial, RTE News is reporting, the prosecution said Ms McMonagle and the accused had been in an “on off” relationship for six years.
The court heard that Ms McMonagle made an emergency call at 4.20am on Friday 4 January 2019 fearing for her safety.
When Gardaí arrived there was a standoff for almost three hours during which Mr Burke welded a meat cleaver at officers and a crisis negotiator who had arrived at the scene.
Anne-Marie Lawlor, SC for the State, said Gardaí forced entry at around 7.30am and found Ms McMonagle had been killed earlier.
She said the two children, who were in the house at the time, were fine and Mr Burke was arrested.
The court heard the 28-year-old had been strangled and had “blows rained upon her” causing extensive injuries to her head and body.
A dressing gown belt and rope were found near Jasmine’s body on the kitchen floor with hair on the belt.
Jasmine’s mother was emotional leaving the courtroom as the details of her daughter’s death were described.
The jury was told that psychiatrists for the State and the defence agree that Mr Burke had a mental disorder at the time which diminished substantially his responsibility for the killing.
Anne-Marie Lawlor SC, however, said there will be no evidence that he was insane at the time.