Man who killed mother 'has to close his eyes every night and think what he has done'

Emma Jane McParland.
Emma Jane McParland

The mother of a woman who was killed by her son says she was a "good mum and always looked after Jordan no matter what problems he had".

Donna McParland was speaking after Jordan Kennedy was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years for the killing of his mother, Emma Jane McParland, in her flat on Haywood Avenue off the Ormeau Road in south Belfast in April 2020.

"Jordan has to close his eyes every night and think what he has done," she told UTV.

The defendant, also formerly of Haywood Avenue, appeared remotely from Maghaberry prison for the tariff hearing dressed in a red top and spoke only once to confirm his identity.

The court heard how Jordan Kennedy had stabbed Ms McParland five times with a large 32cm kitchen knife and that a pathology report concluded "one wound to the left breast proved fatal as it caused extensive bleeding and led speedily to her death".

The court was also told the defendant was arrested by police shortly after the murder about a mile away from the scene and the murder weapon was recovered in a nearby bin.

The 23-year-old admitted the murder as he believed his mother was in a relationship with one or more of her friends and he was being taunted about it by text message.

He initially pleaded not guilty but changed his plea after the submission of psychiatric reports which revealed a series of complex issues including substance abuse, addiction issues, depression, anxiety and a traumatic brain injury.

The judge revealed how Ms McParland had struggled with addiction and her three children of whom the defendant is the eldest were taken from her and their father when they were children.

However, despite Mr Kenendy's chaotic childhood he and his mother had a close bond and she had been assertive in getting his complex needs addressed.

The judge described it as a "tragedy beyond words" that she caused damage to him but in later years had tried to hard to help him, but then he killed her.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney said the impact of this incident within the McParland and Kennedy families was "immeasurable".

Detective Chief Inspector McCartney went on to make an appeal to anyone suffering with an abusive relationship.

“Domestic abuse is not just a physical matter, it can take many forms, including controlling behaviours and emotional and financial abuse," he said.

“We know that victims can feel vulnerable, isolated and frightened, trapped by their abusers' manipulations. We also sadly know, as seen in this and other recent cases, that domestic abuse can quickly escalate to fatalities.

“I am keen to encourage any victims of abuse to come forward. We will help you. We’ll listen to you and we will treat you with total respect and sensitivity. You don’t have to suffer in silence.

“Please contact us on 101, or in an emergency call 999.”

For further information, including details of organisations who can help, visit the Police Service’s website