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Drugs charges Man accused of smuggling heroin into jail for partner who was later murdered by their son

He was visiting his then partner Emma McParland who had been imprisoned there for a short period.

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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

The partner of a mum murdered by their son has been charged with trying to smuggle heroin into prison to her months before she was knifed to death.

Mark Kennedy is accused of bringing heroin and Pregabalin into Hydebank Wood Secure College in July 2019.

He was visiting his then partner Emma McParland who had been imprisoned there for a short period.

Nine months later 39-year-old Emma was murdered by the couple's son Jordan Kennedy at her home in Haywood Avenue. She suffered a fatal stab wound during the attack.

The 23-year-old - believed to be suffering from mental health issues at the time - was sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading guilty at Belfast Crown Court last November.

However, a hearing to determine the minimum term of that life sentence was postponed in February and is yet to take place.

A presentence report was due to be handed into court by March 15 but no date has been set for the final sentence hearing.

Mark Kennedy was due to appear at Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, on Friday but the case was adjourned when the court was told he is currently in a rehabilitation centre.

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 Mark Kennedy, pulls up his hood as he leaves Newtownards court.

Mark Kennedy, pulls up his hood as he leaves Newtownards court.

Mark Kennedy, pulls up his hood as he leaves Newtownards court.

The 42-year-old, of no fixed abode, Belfast, is also charged with possession of cannabis and he was due to be arraigned on the three charges before him.

Judge Geoffrey Miller QC told the court he would rather proceed with the arraignment and was told by a prosecutor an attempt could be made to make contact with Kennedy at the rehab centre with the help of a nurse.

However, the judge decided against that course of action and instead postponed the hearing until April 26.

The judge said Kennedy "must be in attendance" on that date either in his solicitor's office or in person.

Judge Miller added: "I'm not anticipating a trial in this case."

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Jordan Kennedy stabbed his mum in her flat on the Ormeau Road just months after she was released from prison.

Last November we revealed how Mark Kennedy was devastated at the murder of his long-term partner Emma.

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 including her birthday.

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Mark Kennedy and Chelsea at Emma's grave

Mark Kennedy and Chelsea at Emma's grave

Mark Kennedy and Chelsea at Emma's grave

A source told this paper last November: "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.

"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!."

The family pictures posted on social media showed killer Jordan posing with his mum in a happy family shot.

He was also pictured with his dad, Mark, 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 that Jordan Kennedy was struggling with a number of issues but no light was shed in court during the short hearing five months ago to explain what led him to murder his mother.

Following Kennedy's guilty plea, barristers for both the Crown and defence said they would provide written submissions ahead of sentencing to set a minimum term.

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."

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