Dad spoke of ‘heartbreak’ at babies’ deaths but had secretly killed them for attention

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Triple killer, Jordan Monaghan, posed for newspaper pictures and lapped up sympathy after the death of his two children – but he had secretly smothered them to death himself.

After the deaths of 24-day-old Ruby and Logan, 21 months in 2013, the Blackburn dad spoke to reporters of his “heartbreak” and posed for photos with Laura Gray, 28, the children’s grieving mother.

But following a 10-week trial at Preston Crown Court, the “selfish and cruel” gambling addict was found guilty of murder by secretly smothering them.

Detectives believe he enjoyed the attention and achieved his aim to bring the grieving mother closer to him and force her not to leave – despite racking up thousands in gambling debts which had put strain on their relationship.

Miss Gray addressed the court as she watched as her ex-partner was jailed.

Jordan Monaghan posed for pictures in 2013 following the inquest into the death of Ruby
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She said: “All I ever wanted was to be a mum. I wanted to give children the love and opportunities I never had growing up. Jordan knew how much I wanted that.

“My children are the most important thing in my life. I loved every single day I had with them.

“I have the memories and they are truly lovely memories but memories will never beat the reality.

“I will never be the same person again. When the children went a huge part of me went with them.”

At the time, Monaghan vowed to undergo genetic testing with partner Laura Gray to see if an underlying health condition was responsible for the children’s deaths.

After an inquest into Logan’s death in August 2013, he told reporters: “It feels as if history is repeating itself.

Little Logan Monaghan was killed
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Ruby Monaghan was a newborn
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“Everything has been taken away from us. We can’t believe this has happened for a second time. We are just in shock and completely devastated.

“Me and Laura were just getting our life back together after losing Ruby. We knew she was ill but Logan was fine.”

The reality had been that as millions enjoyed celebrations seeing in the New Year, little Ruby has just hours left to live before her own dad smothered her with his hands.

The 24 day old baby girl had taken her bedtime milk “absolutely fine” according to her mum, who had seen in the New Year before going to bed and leaving the baby sleeping in a Moses basket on the living room floor under her father’s supervision.

But Miss Gray was awoken to the sound of Monaghan shouting from downstairs: “You need to get down. I don’t think Ruby is breathing.”

Despite emergency treatment in hospital the baby did not recover consciousness and was pronounced dead at 2.45am. Monaghan told officers at the time he had been watching Die Hard on TV when he found his daughter was not breathing.

A sudden death investigation was launched but a post-mortem examination concluded that Ruby had died from acute bronchopneumonia.

During the recent 10-week trial, the jury heard that the pathologist was “mistaken” – Ruby did not die of natural causes but because her father had obstructed her airways.

Evie Adams was found collapsed and declared dead from drug toxicity
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Vulnerable Evie Adams was warned by police to steer clear of Monaghan
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Only eight months later, the killer dad struck again.

In August that year, Miss Gray told him their relationship was over after discovering her partner had £2,000 gambling debts, had not paid the rent on their home and was hiding money from her.

Later that day, Monaghan took their 21-month-old son, Logan, to Waves, a local swimming pool, with the toddler appearing “happy, talking, behaving normally” on the way.

CCTV showed them at reception at 2.06pm and then leaving the centre 27 minutes later. Monaghan claimed that as they got changed he realised they had left behind Logan’s swimming cap and returned home without going in the pool.

While in the cubicle he smothered the little boy by obstructing his mouth and nose.

Ruby and Logan never stood a chance
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Baby Ruby’s death was murder
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He pulled the rain cover over his pushchair, left the pool and returned home, telling Miss Gray her son was sleeping.

Monaghan then left the property, telling her to wake Logan up while he was out, to ensure he was “putting distance” between him and the discovery that the toddler was dead.

The second “tragedy” brought the couple together again and the relationship continued for a time, but by 2018 Monaghan had begun another relationship with 23-year-old Evie Adams, who had suffered “chronic” abuse as a child and was fostered at the age of 12.

When new information came to light, the construction worker was arrested for the children’s murders.

Vulnerable Evie Adams was warned by police to steer clear of Monaghan, and a court order was made banning contact, but the relationship carried on.

While the killer was on bail for the murders of his children, Miss Adams was found dead in the home they shared together in October 2019.

She was found with a fatal mix of prescription drugs, tramadol and diazepam in her system.

The tots were victims of a killer dad
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During the trial the court heard that Monaghan had warned Miss Adams: “I won’t keep putting up with you saying we are over” after she threatened to leave him.

Officers found Whatsapp messages and other mobile interactions in the weeks before death, showing that the defendant had bought prescription drugs from the black market.

While she lay dying, he made himself scarce claiming he had gone to look at a job in Wigan.

After she died, he faked a suicide note which he had type written and discovered when it “dropped from a picture frame” at her funeral.

Speaking in court, her father, Bernard, said his daughter’s death had taken away a huge part of her family’s life.

Triple killer Jordan Monaghan is facing life behind bars
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He said: “Our lives changed completely on the night of October 24, 2019, when a police officer came to our home and abruptly gave us the news that Evie had died.

“We were told she had taken her own life by overdose. That was the start of the ordeal.

“Once the police inquiry team contacted us we were witnesses and we became witnesses. We couldn’t be given full details of how the case progressed.”

Detectives believe he enjoyed the attention and sympathy over his children and manipulated and controlled Miss Adams, leading to her death.

Detective Chief Inspector Pauline Stables, senior investigating officer at Lancashire Constabulary, said: “I believe he’s probably obtained quite a lot of positive attention as a result of the grieving process around the deaths of his children.

“He certainly paints a picture of a being a manipulator and an attention seeker.

“Very controlling. That will be my view around his sort of incentive to do this… his ability to control the people around him, seeking attention from those around him.

“I would say he’s very manipulative, and quite ruthless really around his actions.

“You know, the ways that he’s covertly instigated adverse medical instances which ultimately resulted in the death of his children, and his partner, and it’s my belief that his main motivation was self-interest and attention.”

The children were buried far too young

Tributes were left to the poor babies

Following 26 hours of deliberations over six days, the jury returned a guilty verdict – but due to a minor illness, Monaghan was not in court as the foreman read out the result.

The dead children’s mother could be heard weeping from the public gallery as they heard the killer’s fate.

Sentencing Monaghan to three mandatory life sentences, with a minimum of 40 years behind bars, Mr Justice Goose said: “It is difficult to imagine why you carried out these offences but having listened to the evidence in this trial I am sure you are an extremely controlling, selfish and cruel man.

“A striking feature in these offences is that you carried them out covertly and secretively in the home you lived in with the mother of those children and with Evie Adams.”

Monaghan was also sentenced to 27 years each for another two counts of attempted murder against a child who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Martin Hill, Deputy Head of CPS North West’s Complex Casework Unit described the killer as “utterly selfish”.

He said: “Jordan Monaghan’s cruelty is beyond belief and the ruthlessness of these murders is harrowing. It is difficult to comprehend the depravity that went into planning and committing these murders.

“Three innocent people needlessly lost their lives due to Monaghan’s utter selfishness. Together the CPS and Lancashire police were able to build a strong case against him by ensuring all possible medical explanations for the deaths of the children could be discounted.

“I cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering that Monaghan’s actions have caused to the families of the victims. They have conducted themselves with the upmost dignity and been incredibly brave and patient throughout.

“Nothing can make up for the loss of their loved ones, but we can only hope, following today’s verdicts, they feel justice has been done. Our thoughts remain with the families.’’

Timeline of key events in horror case

– November 2008

Jordan Monaghan and Laura Gray become engaged after beginning their relationship as teenagers.
– November 17, 2011

Logan Monaghan is born.

– September 23, 2012

Logan is taken to hospital after swallowing paracetamol while at home alone with Monaghan. That morning, Miss Gray told him the relationship was over.

– December 8, 2012

Ruby Monaghan is born.

– December 29, 2012

Ruby collapses while alone in the living room at home with Monaghan.

– December 31, 2012

Ruby is discharged from hospital. A viral infection of bronchiolitis is diagnosed.

– January 1, 2013

Ruby collapses while alone with Monaghan and is pronounced dead at 2.45am in hospital.

– August 16, 2013

Laura Gray discovers Monaghan had run up £2,000 credit card debt from gambling and she tells him the relationship is over.

– August 17, 2013

Logan is discovered dead in his buggy after returning home from being alone with his father in a cubicle at a local swimming pool.

– January 2018

Further information comes in and Lancashire Police review the deaths of both children and launch a double murder investigation, Operation Mayford. Monaghan is arrested and bailed for further inquiries.

– October 11, 2019

Monaghan and his partner of a number of months, Evie Adams, row during a weekend trip to Blackpool.

– October 24, 2019

Evie Adams is found collapsed and declared dead at 8.50pm from drug toxicity.

– January 18, 2021

Jordan Monaghan is charged with the murders of Ruby, Logan and Evie Adams.

– December 17, 2021

Following a 10-week trial at Preston Crown Court, Monaghan is convicted of all three murders.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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