Warning signs | 

Brother of Jennifer Poole recalls ‘red flags’ in her relationship with killer ex-boyfriend

‘The week she ended the relationship, she was murdered by her ex-partner’

Jennifer Poole

Killer Gavin Murphy

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

The brother of Dublin woman Jennifer Poole who was brutally murdered by her ex-boyfriend has told how there were “red flags” after the relationship began.

Jennifer’s brother Jason was recalling how his 24-year-old sister, who was stabbed to death with a kitchen knife in a frenzied attack at her home in April 2021, had ended the relationship that very week.

Gavin Murphy, of Coultry Drive in Ballymun, later admitted stabbing her seven times and was handed a life sentence for her murder.

It emerged during the trial that he had previously served time for assaulting another former partner and her mother which he had hid from Jennifer when they met.

Killer Gavin Murphy

Jason told Lunchtime Live on Newstalk how his sister got mixed up with her murderer and how “he moved into her home very quickly after their relationship began”.

“Looking back at it now, there were kind of red flags and Jennifer was in the relationship for just under a year and then she had ended the relationship.

“The week she ended the relationship, she was murdered by her ex-partner.”

He said neither Jennifer nor her family recognised the red flags at first.

“He was always in the car with her, he would be following her everywhere she went, she couldn’t leave a room without him knowing or texting,” he said.

“She stopped going to GAA, she stopped going to the gym – all of those things that he took away from her and you know, led her to her death really, at the end of the day.”

Jason also said he’ll never forget going to hospital to identify her remains.

“It is a phone call you never forget,” he said.

“You never forget having to go to Connolly Hospital and having to look at your sister lying there dead and having to answer the questions, who is she and what’s her date of birth and what’s your relationship to her.”

Jennifer left behind two young children and Jason described her as sporty, independent and full of the joys of life.

Jason said his family will never stop fighting for domestic violence survivors in Ireland.

“We’ll never forget Jennifer and we’ll fight and fight and fight to ensure that Jennifer is never forgotten about,” he said.

“And also, we’ll fight for the women who are listening today who aren’t sure or might be looking at their own red flags.”

In recent months, the Poole family has been campaigning for the introduction of new law dubbed ‘Jenny’s Law’ that would, among other things, introduce a domestic violence register in Ireland.

Jason said the system would record anyone with a domestic violence conviction, those who served time for domestic violence and all Garda house calls related to domestic violence.

“In Jennifer’s case, he had a history of domestic violence,” he said. “He was already after serving time in prison for a domestic violence offence and he came out there and nobody knew.”

He said the courts are still handing out too many suspended sentences for domestic violence crimes – and called for minimum sentencing laws for violent murders.

“This is not something that is affecting one or two people,” he said. “We see the amount of women who are being murdered at the hand of their husbands or ex-partners.

“We need stronger sentences and we need minimum sentences for life sentences,” he continued.

“We are living a life sentence every single morning we wake up, but on average the life sentence in Ireland is 18 years.

“We’ll never get Jennifer back. We won’t get Jennifer back in 18 years so why should someone be able to walk out of prison after 18 years after committing a crime like that? It’s completely wrong.”

Today's Headlines

More Irish Crime

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos