July 2022

Triple murderer’s sentence extended by eight years

A murderer who smothered his baby daughter and toddler son before going on to poison his new girlfriend and attempt to murder a thrid child will now have to spend 48 years in prison.

Jordan Monaghan, 30, had been given a minimum of 40 years when sentenced at Preston Crown Court in December.

Court of Appeal judges considered whether to impose a whole-life tariff but instead ultimately decided to increase his sentence by eight years.

Monaghan killed his children in 2013 and his new partner six years later.

In May, senior judges heard challenges or appeals against the prison sentences of five convicted killers, including Monaghan.

The construction worker smothered 24-day-old Ruby as she slept in a Moses basket at their home in Blackburn, Lancashire, on New Year’s Day.

Ruby’s mother Laura Gray, 28, was sleeping upstairs at the time.

Eight months later, he took 21-month-old Logan to Waves swimming pool in Blackburn and smothered him while they were alone in a changing room cubicle.

Preston Crown Court heard the day before Logan’s death, Ms Gray had told Monaghan their relationship was over after discovering he owed thousands of pounds in gambling debts.

Six years later, while on bail, he poisoned 23-year-old Evie Adams.

At his original sentencing hearing, Mr Justice Goose told Monaghan: “You are an exceptionally controlling, selfish and cruel man.

“The trigger to these offences were your volatile relationships.

“The consequences were the snuffing out of the lives of two very young children and a young woman.”

Lancashire Police said that after murdering his son, Monaghan posed for pictures and spoke to newspapers about the tragedy of losing two children.

After Logan’s inquest he told reporters: “It feels as if history is repeating itself.

“Everything has been taken away from us.

“We can’t believe this has happened for a second time. We are just in shock and completely devastated.”

Monaghan was arrested in 2018 after police reviewed their deaths when further information came to light.

He killed Ms Adams with a deadly cocktail of prescription drugs, including tramadol and diazepam, he bought illegally on the black market In October 2019, while on bail for the children’s murders.

The court heard Monaghan committed the murders because he could not face rejection by his partners.

Police had warned Ms Adams, who had suffered “chronic abuse” before being fostered aged 12, not to be with him.

A court order banned contact but the relationship continued and Monaghan killed her and faked a suicide note after she threatened to end their relationship.

Monaghan staged the suicide note’s “discovery” by having it fall out of a picture frame as he removed a photo of the couple to place in her coffin.

He was also convicted of two counts of attempted murder to a third child who cannot be identified for legal reasons.