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matricide Loyalist drug dealer linked to reporter Martin O'Hagan's murder is dad of man who murdered own mother

Jordan Kennedy knifed Emma McParland to death in their Haywood Avenue home last year

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Belfast man Jordon Kennedy was sentenced to life for the murder of his mother Emma Jane McParland

Belfast man Jordon Kennedy was sentenced to life for the murder of his mother Emma Jane McParland

Belfast man Jordon Kennedy was sentenced to life for the murder of his mother Emma Jane McParland

Knife-wielding killer Jordan Kennedy who admitting on Friday to murdering his own mum is the son of ex-LVF thug Mark 'Burger' Kennedy, we can reveal.

The 23-year-old - believed to be suffering from mental health issues at the time of the murder - knifed Emma McParland to death in their home on Haywood Avenue in April 2020.

On Friday the mother-killer appeared at Belfast Crown Court and pleaded guilty to the charge of murder and was told he would serve a life sentence behind bars.

Now we can reveal Jordan is the son of notorious LVF drug dealer Mark Kennedy, known as 'Burger' in the criminal underworld.

Burger (41) was once charged with concealing the car used in the murder of Sunday World reporter Martin O'Hagan in 2001 but the charge was withdrawn nine years ago.

Mark Kennedy has been in and out of jail for a raft of drug convictions and is a regular in court for driving offences.

In 2018 he failed in a legal bid to keep a fresh criminal conviction secret. We wanted to report the fact that Kennedy was back in the dock.

We challenged his legal bid and won.

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Camera Shy Mark 'bap' Kennedy, pulls up his hood as he leaves Newtownards court.

Camera Shy Mark 'bap' Kennedy, pulls up his hood as he leaves Newtownards court.

Camera Shy Mark 'bap' Kennedy, pulls up his hood as he leaves Newtownards court.

Earlier this year 'Burger' was banned from driving for ten years after he was caught behind the wheel while off his head, yet again.

Despite his drug addictions and life of crime, sources say he has remained a close father to all of his children but was devastated at the murder of his long-term partner Emma McParland.

He regularly visits Emma's grave at Roselawn Cemetery and pictures and videos posted on Facebook by his daughter Chelsea show the family at the graveside releasing balloons on special days like her birthday.

"Burger took it really bad," said a source. "It was terrible set of circumstances. He loves his son and he loved Emma. It was a real tragedy. Jordan was going through some heavy sh*t at the time he killed his mum.

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"He wasn't in a good place and wasn't thinking straight. His sister Chelsea and dad stood by him. Chelsea posted a picture on her Facebook of the whole family superimposed together two months after the murder.

"The family are relieved there isn't going to be a trial and are trying to get on with their lives as best they can."

A month after the murder, Chelsea Kennedy took to social media to defend her brother.

She posted: "For all yous people out there giving your opinions on my brother! Nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors and by f**k I hope nothing ever comes to yours for you never know what tomorrow can bring!"

Pictured here for the first time is Jordan posing with his mum in a happy family shot and he's also pictured with his dad and mum in a montage posted by a relative on social media two months after the murder - demonstrating the family were standing by Jordan despite the tragic circumstances.

Sources have told the Sunday World Jordan Kennedy was struggling with a number of issues but no light was shed in court during the short hearing two days ago to explain what led him to murder his mother.

And a bitter inter-family dispute threatened to rip the family apart in the aftermath of the murder.

The murder victim's mum, Donna McParland, launched High Court proceedings seeking to have the body released into her custody.

She wanted to have a cremation at Roselawn Cemetery, with the ashes then to be scattered over the grave of the dead woman's grandparents. But the Coroner's Service refused to release the remains after a disagreement with other family members emerged.

A legal case was brought in which Emma McParland's daughter, Chelsea Kennedy, was the named respondent.

According to court papers Ms Kennedy instead wanted her mother to be buried in a Kennedy family plot at Roselawn.

An urgent hearing was listed before the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Declan Morgan, in an bid to secure a judicial declaration but a compromise was reached after negotiations.

A sentence hearing has been set for February 4 when more details of what happened will unfold and Jordan Kennedy will have a plea of mitigation made on his behalf before he finds out how long he must serve before he can even be considered for release.

The judge addressed Kennedy saying: "Mr Kennedy, you have pleaded guilty to the murder of your mother Emma Jane McParland on the April 22 2020.

"In law, the sentence which I have to impose on you for murder is a sentence of life imprisonment - and I impose that sentence now."

He added: "Your life sentence which you must serve and which I must impose on you for the murder on the April 22 2020 is imposed now."

steven.moore@sundayworld.com

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