Man convicted of murdering girlfriend

 

A man who killed his girlfriend in their apartment by strangling her last year has been convicted of her murder at the Central Criminal Court today.

Stephen Carney (33) had admitted killing Amanda Jenkins but had denied murdering her at Anna Livia Apartments, James's Street, Dublin, on a date between October 5th and 6th, 2007.

The jury of eight men and four women spent a night in a hotel and took over four hours to reach its verdict following a four day trial in which the accused  admitted killing his girlfriend but denied her murder.

Ms Jenkins’ uncle, Robert McClean, told the court in a victim impact statement that his niece was an only child who had a special and loving relationship with  her mother. He said he now barely recognized his sister who is consumed by grief.

Outside court Mr McClean thanked gardai involved in the case and described the  verdict as a “hollow victory”. He said the Carney family still had their son but  his family were left only with memories of a warm and beautiful young woman.

Damien Jenkins, a brother of the victim’s father, said Amanda was a “little  angel” who looked after everyone else. He said justice had been done but that  that did not bring back his niece.

Defence counsel Michael O’Higgins SC read a statement to the court from Carney in which he said he would give anything to take back what he did. He said he should have called someone for help straight away but had panicked after he killed Ms Jenkins.

Carney said he did not know how or why it had happened and expressed “heartfelt sorrow” for the pain he had caused.

Mr Justice Paul Carney heard that the defendant had nine previous convictions including one for firearms offences in relation to a cash in transit robbery in Ashford, County Wicklow in 1998. He had been sentenced to eight years for that  crime by the Special Criminal Court.

He comes from a large Dublin family and has one child from a previous relationship.

The jury had heard that Carney had been drinking during the day on a Friday and arrived home to find Ms Jenkins had smoked hash in their flat. He said they rowed over the room being smoky and she hit him across the face.

He then grabbed her by the throat and strangled her. He told gardai he did not mean to kill her but had “just lost it”.

Carney did not attempt to resuscitate Ms Jenkins or call an ambulance or gardai. He moved her body into the bedroom and went to the pub. He drank throughout Friday night and went home briefly on Saturday before returning to the pub for the day.

He did not tell anyone what had happened and said he “went on the drink” to “blank out” events.

He rang 999 on Sunday morning and told gardai he had killed his girlfriend. He had tried and failed to kill himself on Sunday morning by taking a quantity of tablets, cutting his wrists and trying to hang himself.

A video of interview was shown to the jury in which Carney appeared highly  distressed and said he had not meant to kill Ms Jenkins. They had known each other for ten years and were together for seven.

Justice Carney thanked the members of the jury for their careful attention to the case and exempted them from further service.