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Family begged Amanda to leave her killer boyfriend

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Murder victim Amanda Jenkins in a bridesmaid's dress

Murder victim Amanda Jenkins in a bridesmaid's dress

Amanda Jenkins, left, aged four, pictured with one of her cousins

Amanda Jenkins, left, aged four, pictured with one of her cousins

Murder victim Amanda Jenkins in the last picture she had taken with her mother Ann before she was strangled

Murder victim Amanda Jenkins in the last picture she had taken with her mother Ann before she was strangled

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Murder victim Amanda Jenkins in a bridesmaid's dress

THE family of the young woman killed by her boyfriend after a row in their apartment had confronted him before and after he physically abused her.

But Amanda Jenkins (27) ignored their repeated pleas to leave Stephen Carney, and her violent boyfriend promised never to hit her again.

On Saturday, Carney (33) was jailed for life for her murder after he strangled her in their Dublin city centre apartment.

"I did say it to him face to face," Amanda's uncle, Robert McClean, told the Irish Independent yesterday.

"It was the day after my other niece's wedding and I asked Amanda in front of him what she was doing with him, that she could have done a lot better.

"He said, 'I heard that', and I said, 'You were meant to. Any man that raises a hand to a woman doesn't deserve to be with her'. He said, 'It was just a one off, I would never hurt her'. And then he went on to kill her.

"You always wonder if you could have done more but, really, it is futile thinking what might have been. What's done is done now. She was quite naive in many ways, and Amanda was the type that would always try to look for the good in people. It didn't matter how much we told her that there was no good to be found in this one, she kept on looking. And he killed her."

Carney, who had nine previous convictions including one for firearms offences, was found guilty of Ms Jenkins' murder on Saturday at the Central Criminal Court and jailed for life. He strangled his girlfriend of seven years after a row at their flat on James' Street and later slept with her lifeless body after a pub crawl. He eventually phoned gardai and told them he had killed his girlfriend. In court he denied murder and, on Saturday, he begged for forgiveness from her family.

"I don't believe his pleas of remorse," Mr McClean said. "I sat looking at him for a week in the court and his expression never changed. They were just empty words. He obviously knows how to play the system and I'm sure his words yesterday were with an eye to his parole."

Mr McClean read out a victim impact statement in which he described how his sister Ann -- Amanda's mother -- was consumed by grief at the death of her only child.

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"She's very tired," he said yesterday. "Things are still quite raw. As far as I know one of my brothers is picking her up to take her out to the grave today. It's very hard."

Ann Jenkins has spoken of how Carney was "obsessed" with her daughter, while the pretty blonde believed that she could change the violent criminal.

Mr McClean added: "I knew he had been in trouble with the police but I wasn't aware of the extent of it. It came as a big shock. It would leave you wondering why she had anything to do with him at all.

Violent

"She was such a pretty girl but she didn't realise it. It was quite obvious that he was violent towards her and was controlling her but the more you pushed the more you were pushing her away, so you had to be very careful about how you dealt with her."

Mr McClean eventually stopped visiting his niece because he "couldn't stomach" being in the same room as Carney but her mother kept contact and knew that Amanda had been given €4,000 by a former employer last year and was keeping it at the flat.

Mr McClean said: "There was evidence that that money was taken. So there is the very real possibility that there was a row over the money and that is what kicked everything off."


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