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Crime Europe Republic of Ireland

Jasmine McMonagle: Man Guilty of Donegal Woman’s Manslaughter

A 32-year-old man who killed a mother-of-two in County Donegal has been found guilty of manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility but not guilty of murder.

Jasmine McMonagle, 27, was found strangled and beaten to death at her home in Killygordon in January 2019.

Richard Burke, also from Killygordon, had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.

A prosecutor described her death as “senseless and horrific”.

The unanimous verdict was returned by a jury at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Monaghan, Irish broadcaster RTÉ has reported.

In her closing speech, a prosecution lawyer told the jury Ms McMonagle was a devoted mother who was deeply loved by her friends and family.

She also told the jury that nobody was suggesting that Burke was not responsible for the death.

Mental disorder

A defence lawyer said Burke accepted responsibility for Ms McMonagle’s death but mental illness was at the heart of the case.

He urged the jury to return a verdict of not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by virtue of diminished responsibility.

What happened to Ms McMonagle was “beyond explanation, excuse and beyond words”, he added.

On Wednesday, the trial heard from two psychiatrists who both agreed that Burke was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the killing.

This had substantially diminished his responsibility, they said.

Mr Justice Paul Burns, the presiding judge, said there was no evidence Ms McMonagle was anything other than a “good mother and a good person”.

He told the jury a verdict of guilty of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility was not an acquittal or a not guilty verdict.

Source : BBC