Passion was motive for murder, court hears


A wife and her lover were driven by the "old-fashioned motive" of passion to bludgeon to death her businessman husband, a court was today told.

Ms Julie McGinley (31) and Mr Michael Anthony Monaghan (44) appeared at Belfast's Laganside Crown Court jointly accused of killing father-of-two Mr Gerald McGinley.

The prosecution told the jury the pair were led by "one of the most powerful motives" of passion and infatuation to remove the obstacle in the way of their love affair.

Mr McGinley's badly decomposed body was found in a County Leitrim forest nearly a year after he went missing from his home in August 2000.

Mrs McGinley, of Windmill Drive, Enniskillen, and Mr Monaghan, of Ann Street in the Co Fermanagh town, both deny murder.

Mr Terence Mooney QC summed up the prosecution's case, saying: "McGinley and Monaghan plotted and planned the murder of Gerald McGinley and that plan was carried out.

"Gerald McGinley was murdered in the marital home to allow them to carry on their relationship.

"It was an old-fashioned motive, one of the most powerful motives.

"That passion, that infatuation for one another can cloud judgement. In this case it clouded the judgement of Julie and Michael to such an extent that they wished to get rid of the one who stood between them."

The court was also told that Mr Monaghan telephoned the victim's father around Christmas 2000, before the businessman's body had been found.

Mr Mooney said Mr Monaghan spoke to him in a way that suggested he knew his son was dead.

Mr Gerald McGinley Sr was at home when he received a telephone call and spoke to a person who asked whether he recognised him, Mr Mooney said.

"He knew it was Monaghan," Mr Mooney told the court.

"Mr Monaghan accused Mr McGinley of sending men after him."

Mr Mooney said the caller seemed to know of the circumstances of Mr McGinley's death.

"He said to him: `It wasn't a professional hit, you know'.

"This suggests he knew Mr McGinley was dead.

"It is a significant statement which shows the state of mind of Monaghan at the time. He knew of the circumstances of Mr McGinley's death."

At around the same time Mr Monaghan told of how he thought he was being blackmailed after handing over money to a woman in an Enniskillen car park, Mr Mooney told the court.

This was over an alleged tape recording of Monaghan saying: "I want it done. I want you to shoot the ****."

The prosecution alleges the pair smuggled Mr McGinley's body across the border into the Irish Republic after the murder.

Mr Mooney said blood stains were found on parcel wrapping in the rear of Monaghan's van. These were sent for forensic examination and one of the samples proved to be a DNA match to Mr McGinley, the court was told.

After the two co-accused were arrested on March 21st, 2001, their homes were searched.

Mr Mooney said a copy of the Sunday World newspaper from August 13th, 2000 - the date the two are alleged to have killed Mr McGinley - was found in Monaghan's flat.

"That edition of the Sunday World is only available in the Republic," said Mr Mooney.

"We say that shows he was in the Republic of Ireland on August 13th, 2000.

"The purpose, we say, was transporting the remains of Mr McGinley from Enniskillen to the Republic of Ireland on that day."

Mr Mooney said that after Mr McGinley went missing his wife made arrangements to sell his van and lorry.

She was reluctant to approach police about his disappearance, he added.

He said her behaviour after the disappearance indicated she knew her husband would not be returning.

Mr Mooney said another motive for killing Mr McGinley could have been for money.

At the time Mr McGinley went missing the couple were in debt, he told the court.

There were a number of insurance policies which, if cashed in, would have amounted to about #300,000.

"All the debts would have been paid and Julie would have been in a much more comfortable position.

"She would have been able to start afresh."

The case was adjourned until tomorrow.