A father ɱʋrɗᥱred his son and daughter to save his failing relationship and had a pattern of making them ill every time his partner threatened to leave, a court has been told today.
Alleged triple killer, Jordan Monaghan, 30, is accused of smothering his daughter, Ruby, aged 24 days, on New Year’s Day, 2013, eight months before also smothering his son, Logan, aged 21 months.
He also denies the murder of his new partner, Evie Adams, 23, six years later in October 2019, by giving her an overdose of tramadol and diazepam.
The jury was told today that Monaghan would harm both Logan and Ruby when they were left in his care and when his relationship with their mother, Laura Gray, was struggling.
Duncan Smith, QC, prosecuting, said each time Laura Gray threatened to leave, Monaghan caused the children to be ill so as to create a situation where she would feel obliged to stay.
Questioning Monaghan during the trial at Preston Crown Court, Mr Smith said: ‘Your relationship with Laura Gray was important to you.
Monaghan replied: ‘Yes, to some extent. Not more important than my children.’
Mr Smith said instances where Monaghan called 111 to say Logan had swallowed paracetamol or, on a separate occasion, that Ruby was struggling to breathe were orchestrated to save his relationship.
Mr Smith said: ‘Logan’s sudden illness meant your relationship would continue.
‘Once more what had happened to Logan meant Laura Gray stayed in a relationship with you. You created a situation to keep you together.’
The court also heard that Ruby collapsed on December 29 when she was struggling to breathe and the paramedics were contacted.
Mr Smith said: ‘On your account those changes in Ruby came out of nowhere.
‘They came about because you had restricted her ability to breathe, Mr Monaghan. How did you restrict her ability to breathe?’
Monaghan denied harming Rugby.
Mr Smith said Mr Monaghan was ‘remarkably’ calm during all the calls to the medical services.
Mr Monaghan replied: ‘I was normal, yes. I was worried but normal.’
Mr Smith added: ‘Were you normal because what had happened was neither a shock nor a surprise?’
Mr Smith then told the jury that when Ruby died on New Year’s Day 2013, Monaghan had been alone with his three-week-old daughter for more than an hour.
He said: ‘You killed her by restricting her breathing, haven’t you?’
Ruby died at home on New Year’s Day in 2013, and her brother Logan died eight months later on August 17.
The court had previously heard that Miss Gray found her son Logan dead in his buggy after Monaghan had taken him swimming.
Earlier in the day, the jury heard how Evie Adams, who the prosecution say was killed by Monaghan, had sent him a text threatening to kill herself on the day of her death.
It is the prosecution’s case that Monaghan bought the prescription drugs Tramadol and Diazepam on the black market and fed to Miss Adams ‘covertly without her agreement or knowledge’.
During the trial today, the jury was told 23-year-old Miss Adams had messaged Monaghan saying: ‘Jordan, I really don’t want to be here anymore. I have taken some drugs and I don’t want help.’
Monaghan told the jury he was initially concerned Miss Adams had taken an overdose.
He said: ‘I thought she had taken some drugs so I went and spoke to her. I asked her why she had taken some drugs and she said she hadn’t taken anything.
‘I asked her why she sent the message and she said it was like the couple of days before where she said she was having a bad day.
‘I asked her if she was going to take any and she said “no”.’
The hearing heard how two days previously, Miss Adams had also threatened to commit suicide.
She had texted Monaghan: ‘I took all them (sic) tablets you gave me today as well as just took 10 co-codamol and 10 paracetamol because I don’t want to live no more.
‘And I will carry on taking more.’
Monaghan told Preston Crown Court the pills Miss Adams was referring to was the paracetamol he had bought for her previously.
The jury was told how internet searches had been found on Miss Adams’ phone which included ‘How many tablets do I have to take to go to hospital?’; ‘What medication do I have to take to overdose?’; and ‘Help for suicidal thoughts’.
Monaghan denies murdering Miss Adams in October 2019.
The 30-year-old told the court that on the day of Miss Adams’ death, a doctor had visited the house.
He said: ‘Evie had told me the doctor had been out to see her. She still had stomach flu and she said he had prescribed her tramadol.’
Taking the stand, Monaghan also told the court how he was ‘in a mess’ when returning home from work to discover Miss Adams was not breathing.
Defending, Ben Myers, QC, asked: ‘Had you seen anything round about the bedroom or any area that was at all relevant in what had happened to Evie?’
Monaghan said: ‘The paramedic asked me if she could have taken anything and he asked me to have a look to see if there was anything about in the house.
‘He asked me to check about to see if there was anything she could have taken. I did check and outside the bedroom were some empty packets of paracetamol, which I picked up and passed to him.’
Monaghan added: ‘The police asked us if there was any other medication that she could have taken.
‘That’s when we told them, there was a strip of tramadol and that there were four missing from it, so she had obviously taken four.’
Monaghan denied supplying the tramadol and said he believed the doctor had prescribed it.
He replied ‘definitely not’ when asked if he had contributed in any way to Evie’s death.
Monaghan, of Blackburn, denies three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and two counts of cruelty to a child, all between January 1 2013 and October 24 2019.
The trial continues.