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Lives shattered Family of murdered mum Jennifer Poole and Gardai urge domestic abuse victims to come forward

"We are giving you an invitation to come forward to gardai and to talk to us and despite what your abuser might tell you that we won't listen to you or that you are not valued, we value you."

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 David Poole holds a framed photo of his murdered sister, Jennifer, as her family and friends gathered outside the Central Criminal Court yesterday. PIC: Collins Courts

David Poole holds a framed photo of his murdered sister, Jennifer, as her family and friends gathered outside the Central Criminal Court yesterday. PIC: Collins Courts

David Poole holds a framed photo of his murdered sister, Jennifer, as her family and friends gathered outside the Central Criminal Court yesterday. PIC: Collins Courts

A brother of a young mother who was murdered by her boyfriend has urged victims of domestic abuse to seek help as he said her family will "continue to fight in her name".

Jennifer Poole's brother Jason Poole made a statement on behalf of their family outside the Criminal Courts of Justice after Gavin Murphy was jailed for life.

Mother-of-two Ms Poole (24) died after being stabbed seven times at her first floor apartment in Melville Drive, Finglas, north Dublin, at around 2pm on April 17, 2021.

Gavin Murphy, with an address at Coultry Drive, Ballymun, Dublin 9 appeared at the court today for his sentence hearing, having pleaded guilty earlier this month on April 1 to murdering Ms Poole in her Dublin home last year.

During the hearing today, Jason Poole said his family are tormented by the thoughts of what she endured that day and that she spent her last minutes on earth with the "very worst of humanity".

In a statement outside court, Jason said: "Today the mandatory life sentence was handed down to the murderer of Jennifer, our beloved mother, daughter, and sister. Justice was served. However, every day we as a family are suffering from this horrific murder.

"A life sentence was given to us, her family, one without parole, for the rest of our lives.

"Jennifer was 24 years old and loved life. She was honest, caring, and hardworking. Jennifer loved to smile and had a heart of gold.

"She was bubbly and loved by everyone who met her. She was an amazing mother to her two children, who she loved and protected so dearly.

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Joe and Jackie Poole, the parents of murdered woman, Jennifer Poole, hold a framed photo of her, outside Central Criminal Court where Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

Joe and Jackie Poole, the parents of murdered woman, Jennifer Poole, hold a framed photo of her, outside Central Criminal Court where Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

Joe and Jackie Poole, the parents of murdered woman, Jennifer Poole, hold a framed photo of her, outside Central Criminal Court where Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

"She had so much more to give this world, but her life was taken from her in the most horrendous way.

"We miss Jennifer so much. Our lives are not the same without her.

"We are living two lives – the one before Jennifer was taken from us in the most horrific way and the one we live today without her."

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He continued: "We will never let Jenny’s memory fade and will continue to fight in her name.

"Domestic violence in Ireland has become far too common and it is not OK.

"We as a family call on all women and men that find themselves in situations where domestic violence is part of their lives to please seek help and support.

"Speak to the guards or contact and organisation for help.

"We do not want another family to have to go through what we are going through.

"More needs to be done in this country with legislation, but everyone can be an ally on this matter.

"However, today is Jennifer’s day and we have finally got justice for her short life.

After thanking Gardai and the public, the Poole family appealed for privacy.

"Today we finally get to start our grieving and ensuring that this day is about Jennifer, her justice, her name, her legacy and not that of her murderer. Thank you".

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Gavin Murphy fatally assaulted Jennifer Poole on April 17, 2021. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Gavin Murphy fatally assaulted Jennifer Poole on April 17, 2021. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Gavin Murphy fatally assaulted Jennifer Poole on April 17, 2021. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

In his statement, Detective Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy said: "I want to extend the sympathy of our organisation and the gardai in Finglas to Jennifer's family, her mother and father, her two children, her relatives and the community in Finglas and her colleagues that played sport with her in Erin’s Isle.

"I want to commend the family for the dignified manner in which they have dealt with this really tragic and heartbreaking situation. Jennifer's death is a reminder to society in Ireland that we have a problem in relation to domestic abuse. We have to double our efforts in all our different roles to challenge this domestic abuse going on out there.

"So I have a message for anyone watching this who is living with domestic abuse in their life that we are giving you an invitation to come forward to gardai and to talk to us and despite what your abuser might tell you that we won't listen to you or that you are not valued, we value you.

You are valued by society and we invite you to come forward and talk to us at an early stage, don't wait for a crisis, come talk to us and we will introduce you to the various other non-governmental services, voluntary services that are there that will help you. If we can help and you can get the right help, you can win your lives back.

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David Poole holds a framed photo of his murdered sister, Jennifer, as her family and friends gathered outside the Central Criminal Court yesterday where Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer Poole, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

David Poole holds a framed photo of his murdered sister, Jennifer, as her family and friends gathered outside the Central Criminal Court yesterday where Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer Poole, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

David Poole holds a framed photo of his murdered sister, Jennifer, as her family and friends gathered outside the Central Criminal Court yesterday where Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer Poole, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

"In relation to the abusers watching this, your behaviour is unacceptable, it's abhorrent and it's toxic to any relationship or any society. You must take ownership of your behaviour, it's not the abused person that is the cause of this, it's the abuser, it's your behaviour and you should seek help to stop this, if you can't stop of your own accord. It must stop.

"In summary, to anybody living with domestic abuse, whether you in a co-habitant relationship, whether you are married for five years or ten years or 40 years, whether you are a same sex couple or young or old, bring it forward at an early stage, don't wait for the crisis, we will be there to help and support you. You will get a good and empathetic hearing and we are there to support and help and unlock the other services that are there to help you as well."

Jason Poole earlier told the Central Criminal Court: "No one deserves to die at the hands of another person for no reason. No one deserves to be treated like Jennifer was treated. No one should ever think they can control a person and make them feel worthless. Nobody should feel afraid or scared of someone else".

Sentencing judge Mr Justice Paul Burns noted this was "yet another case of a violent attack upon a young mother by a male partner".

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 David Poole, holds a framed photo of his murdered sister, Jennifer, as he leaves the Central Criminal Court  after Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer Poole, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

David Poole, holds a framed photo of his murdered sister, Jennifer, as he leaves the Central Criminal Court after Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer Poole, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

David Poole, holds a framed photo of his murdered sister, Jennifer, as he leaves the Central Criminal Court after Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer Poole, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

He noted that the defendant, 30-year-old Gavin Murphy, had a violent disposition toward women and had previously been convicted of an attack on another partner and her mother, where he produced a knife.

The court heard that Jennifer's friend and neighbour Danielle Tuffy had heard her scream "Stop, please don't do this" and that Ms Tuffy had shouted to be let into the apartment to help. "F**k off you," Murphy had replied.

The court heard that the relationship between Jennifer and Murphy had ongoing difficulties in the months prior to the fatal assault. Family and friends had noticed injuries on Jennifer's face and body and while she made "benign" excuses, her family were deeply suspicious. The day before she died her friend took pictures of her injuries.

In a letter of apology to the Poole family which was read out today by his defence counsel in court, Murphy said: "I know that nothing I can say can take away the pain. Everyone knew and loved Jennifer. I cannot say how sorry I am for what I have done. I pleaded guilty to murder to show how sorry I am. I wanted to save everyone who loved Jennifer from having to go through a trial. I wanted to accept full responsibility, I will never forgive myself for what I did".

Jason Poole also said in his statement that his family has so many unanswered questions as to why and how someone could take the life of another person who was always there to help others and who had a family and two "beautiful young children".

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Jackie, Clare and Joe Poole, the parents and sister of murdered woman, Jennifer Poole, outside Central Criminal Court yesterday. PIC: Collins Courts

Jackie, Clare and Joe Poole, the parents and sister of murdered woman, Jennifer Poole, outside Central Criminal Court yesterday. PIC: Collins Courts

Jackie, Clare and Joe Poole, the parents and sister of murdered woman, Jennifer Poole, outside Central Criminal Court yesterday. PIC: Collins Courts

The testimony was heard as part of an emotional victim impact statement read today to the Central Criminal Court, where Murphy was sentenced to the mandatory term of life imprisonment for murdering his girlfriend Ms Poole. The sentence was backdated to April 17 2021, when he went into custody.

Before sentencing the defendant, Mr Justice Burns said: "This is yet another case of a violent attack upon a young mother by a male partner, this case having fatal consequences for the deceased. Ms Poole was involved with the accused for one year prior to her death and their relationship was described as having difficulties. Her family and friends noticed injuries on Ms Poole prior to the fatal attack.

The judge added: "The accused appears to be of a violent disposition, having previously been convicted of assault causing harm to a previous partner and her mother, where he produced a knife. It shows his disposition for violence upon women".

"Ms Poole received seven stab wounds, her neighbour witnessed it in part and that must have been a harrowing experience for her. The victim impact statements made were very eloquent, it is clear Ms Poole was a good and caring person, a devoted mother and was respected in her community. The loss has had a devastating effect upon the family, particularly her two small children who are left to make their way in the world without the love of their mother," he concluded

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Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy, speaking to media outside the Central Criminal Court after Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer Poole, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy, speaking to media outside the Central Criminal Court after Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer Poole, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy, speaking to media outside the Central Criminal Court after Gavin Murphy received a life sentence for murdering Jennifer Poole, in April 2021. PIC: Collins Courts

Mr Justice Burns finally extended his condolences to the Poole family.

Mother-of-two Ms Poole (24) was stabbed to death at her first floor apartment in Melville Drive, Finglas, north Dublin, at around 2pm on April 17, 2021.

Neighbours raised the alarm and emergency services attended the scene before she was rushed to Connolly Hospital and died a short time later.

Her cause of death was haemorrhage and shock due to multiple stab wounds.

Ms Poole, originally from the Ballygall area of Finglas, was a healthcare worker at Beneavin Lodge Care Home, and played camogie with local club Erin’s Isle.

Earlier, the court heard that Murphy has 13 previous convictions for the use of a mobile phone whilst in custody, the unlawful seizure of a vehicle, criminal damage, burglary, the production of an article in the course of a dispute and two counts of assault causing harm.

The court was told that the two assault charges were against his "romantic partner at the time" and her mother, when a knife was produced during a fight.

Dean Kelly SC, prosecuting, told the hearing that Ms Poole's young son was outside at the time of the fatal assault and could hear his mother's cries for help. Ms Poole's friend and neighbour tried to break down the deceased's front door during the attack as Ms Poole screamed at her to kick the door in.

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