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Accused strangled girlfriend then tried to kill himself

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Anne Jenkins, the victim's mother, is comforted outside court yesterday

Anne Jenkins, the victim's mother, is comforted outside court yesterday

Stephen Carney who has denied murdering his girlfriend Amanda Jenkins

Stephen Carney who has denied murdering his girlfriend Amanda Jenkins

Amanda Jenkins

Amanda Jenkins

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Anne Jenkins, the victim's mother, is comforted outside court yesterday

A MAN strangled his girlfriend in their apartment on a Friday evening and waited until the Sunday morning to contact gardai, a jury heard yesterday.

Stephen Carney (33) is on trial at the Central Criminal Court for the murder of Amanda Jenkins (27), at Anna Livia Apartments, James Street, Dublin, on a date between October 5 and 6, 2007. He denies the charge.

Michael O'Higgins, defending, told the jury that his client admitted that he strangled Ms Jenkins and that act caused her death.

He admitted that it happened at around 8.30pm on October 5, 2007, and that gardai arrived at the apartment around 10.30am on Sunday, October 7.

The jury heard from Diarmaid McGuinness, prosecuting, that the fact that Mr Carney killed Ms Jenkins was not at issue in the case but that he retained the presumption of innocence in relation to murder.

During interviews with gardai, Mr Carney denied that he had intended to kill his girlfriend.

Mr McGuinness said the couple lived in a third-floor flat and that Ms Jenkins arrived home from work in a fruit and vegetable shop on James Street at around 7.45pm on the Friday.

A row broke out between her and Carney because he could smell cannabis, the court heard. The prosecution say she was on the sofa and that Mr Carney leaned down towards her and she gave him a "clatter" across the face. He then grabbed her by the throat and strangled her.

On Sunday morning, Mr Carney rang 999 and told gardai that he had just killed his girlfriend. Recordings of the conversation with garda command and control were played to the court. He said he had strangled Ms Jenkins with his hands on Friday night and he had tried to kill himself. He said she was in the bedroom and he wanted gardai to come and take him away.

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Anne Jenkins, the mother of Amanda Jenkins, said she last spoke to her daughter by phone at around 8pm on the Friday. The following day she received two phone calls from Mr Carney in which he said Ms Jenkins had "packed in" her job. He said she was in bed asleep and that her mobile phone battery was dead.

Mr Carney phoned the witness again to tell her not to answer the phone if her daughter's boss rang her.

Ms Jenkins' mother rang Mr Carney at around 2.30pm on Saturday because her daughter's phone was off. He said she was still asleep. She asked him to look after her daughter for her, to which he replied "of course I will love".

Ms Jenkins' employer and co-workers gave evidence that she was due to open the shop on Saturday morning but failed to do so.

Gda Paul Maher told the court that he arrived at the flat on Sunday morning following Mr Carney's 999 call.

He said Mr Carney appeared visibly upset and told gardai "she's in there".

Mr Carney told gardai on the phone that he had a blade and had cut himself but had thrown the knife in the bin.

Gda Maher cautioned Mr Carney, who then said: "I tried to cut myself. That didn't even work. I strangled my girlfriend on Friday night".

Gda Maher said he found Ms Jenkin's body in the bedroom covered in a duvet or sleeping bag. The hearing continues before Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of eight men and four women.


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