‘If there was a domestic violence registry, Jennifer could be alive’ – Family of murdered mother horrified to hear her killer had a violent history
The last time Jason Poole saw his younger sister alive was the night before her murder. She had just broken up with her boyfriend and wanted to have milkshakes with her friends.
I babysat their two kids,” Jason said Irish Independent. “She was in great shape, I suppose, relieved it was all over. She had her makeup on, was full of chatter, and was so excited to go out.
“The next time I saw her was when I had to identify her body at the morgue.”
Mum-of-two Jennifer Poole, 24, was fatally attacked at her home in Melville Drive, Finglas, Dublin on April 17 last year.
Her partner of about a year, Gavin Murphy, 30, pleaded guilty to murder earlier this month and was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Central Criminal Court yesterday.
During an emotional sentencing hearing, Ms Poole’s family first learned that Murphy, from Ballymun, had a history of violent behavior against women and had previously been jailed for two years for stabbing a former partner and her mother in 2015.
“We didn’t know anything about his past until yesterday,” he said.
“It was the first time we’ve heard of the incident involving a former partner, and we don’t think Jennifer was aware of it either.
“It sickens us to think that he has done something similar in the past.
“Why was he even on the street?
“Clearly the verdict he received in 2015 wasn’t a deterrent because he did it again – only this time he went further and murdered someone.”
Mr Poole said, speaking of his family, his sister ended her relationship with Murphy the week before her death.
“Jennifer had conversations with us that week about it being over and she had severed all ties with him,” he said.
“When we went to clear out her house, there wasn’t a single item that belonged to him.
“We know from the children that she packed all his things and removed them from the house beforehand.”
Ms. Poole, a caregiver with two young children, was in a relationship with Murphy less than a year before he killed her. They met in May 2020 and he moved into her home on Melville Drive in Finglas.
The court was told that there had been “continuing difficulties” in the relationship and that she had been observed with numerous injuries throughout the relationship.
On the day of the incident, a neighbor of Ms Poole said she heard high-pitched screams “like never before” coming from the flat and the victim repeatedly shouting “stop, please don’t do this”.
As she walked into the apartment, she looked through the mailbox and saw Gavin Murphy was holding a kitchen knife and appeared to be pulling it away from Ms Poole.
The witness told Gardaí she saw a bloodstain on the floor, Murphy took a white towel to wipe his hand or knife and went into a bedroom to get dressed. The witness told Gardaí that she yelled at him to be let in and that he told her, “F**k off, you.” He then fled via the rear balcony, rescue workers were alerted.
An investigation was launched and when Murphy met Gardaí at his uncle’s home over an hour later, he said there had been an argument at the house.
He claimed a knife was produced, he got his hands on it, and used it “in a split second.”
Murphy also told Gardaí that he “passed out,” that he “couldn’t even look at her,” and that he then left and went to Poppintree Park.
In a prepared statement to Gardaí after his arrest, he claimed responsibility for the murder but said he had no intention of killing Ms Poole and that he “really loves her”.
Murphy also told Gardaí, “I’m really sorry and I didn’t want that to happen.”
He was later charged and earlier this month pleaded guilty to murder.
The court was told that Ms Poole sustained seven stab wounds and the cause of death was bleeding and shock from multiple stab wounds.
Det-Sgt Mangan confirmed Murphy had 13 prior convictions, including detaining a phone, assault, burglary, manufacturing an article and criminal damage.
David Poole, the victim’s brother, said their two children were “deprived” of their mother and their lives were changed forever. Her son and daughter were four and seven years old at the time of her murder.
Mr Poole said his sister could not have been a more caring mother and would do anything for her children. He added that now all they have are memories of their beautiful mother.
Mr Judge Paul Burns said it was “another instance of a violent attack on a young woman” by a male partner with fatal consequences.
He offered his condolences to Ms Poole’s family and handed down a life sentence for the “vicious” murder.
Last night Jason Poole called for all men and women with prior convictions for violence against a partner to be put on a registry similar to the sex offender registry.
“We know from yesterday that he did something very similar in a previous relationship and that a knife was involved,” he said.
“If there was a register, Jennifer could have walked into a Garda station and said, ‘This has happened to me once or twice, I’m not comfortable in this relationship, I need to check something, does he have a previous domestic relationship? violence record?’
“She could have asked, ‘Is he on the register?'”
Mr Poole, a secondary school teacher, said domestic violence had become far too common in Ireland and he believed his sister was afraid to cover up the reality of the relationship.
“We had some idea of what was going on,” he said. “We would have said things to her and challenged her, but she always had a different explanation – the kids hit her with a throw, she fell.
“She would never tell you what really happened.
“She was 100 percent scared of him. I think she was afraid to tell us the truth if we went to his house and confronted him… She would deal with it again after we were gone.”
Mr Poole said the finding at yesterday’s court hearing that Murphy had already been convicted of assault against a partner upset his family.
“It makes me very angry,” he said.
“This realization that he was that kind of person. When you’re like that, that’s what you do, isn’t it?
“You put on a facade and then you build the person and break them down into what you want them to be.
“In Jennifer’s case, he came and he was great and once he had her where he had her, he broke her down.
“She got to a point where she couldn’t talk to her family about incidents or justify where she got her bruises from.
“If only she’d told us the real story, she’d probably be here today.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/if-there-was-a-domestic-violence-register-jennifer-might-be-alive-family-of-murdered-mum-appalled-to-hear-her-killer-had-violent-history-41602230.html ‘If there was a domestic violence registry, Jennifer could be alive’ – Family of murdered mother horrified to hear her killer had a violent history