Jennifer murder suspect to be extradited to stand trial
THE family of murdered mother Jennifer Dornan have welcomed a decision to extradite the only suspect in the case six months after the 30-year-old was stabbed to death in her west Belfast home.
Raymond O'Neill appeared in court in Dublin on Wednesday charged with murder and arson, as the Public Prosecution Service issued extradition proceedings in the Republic to have the 37-year-old returned north to stand trial.
The suspect was arrested by Gardai on Wednesday on foot of a European Arrest Warrant and appeared before a court in Dublin where he was remanded in custody until February 22.
PPS Assistant Director Marianne O’Kane, who has responsibility for the Serious Crime Unit, said: "Senior prosecutors, from both the PPS's Serious Crime Unit and Appeals and International Section, have worked closely with the PSNI investigating team over recent months to expedite the prosecution decision in this case and commence extradition proceedings."
The popular young mum, who had children aged eight, five and three, was stabbed to death in her home in the Lagmore area of Belfast in August last year.
It is believed she was followed by her killer from a friend's house on the night of the attack.
She was stabbed with a 14-inch blade before the upstairs of the property was set on fire to destroy the evidence.
The murder weapon was recovered several days later from the garden of a nearby property.
O'Neill was arrested by gardai in Bundoran, Co Donegal the following week.
He is originally from Andersonstown in west Belfast, but had a previous address in Summerhill Walk, Dunmurry.
He has now been charged with murdering the young mum and with arson and reckless endangerment.
The second charge related to the fire police believe was set to destroy evidence but which also spread to an adjoining property where a young family were sleeping.
The Irish News understands he plans to appeal the extradition warrant.
A spokesperson for the Dornan family said on Wednesday, that while they"welcome the development" they hope the extradition will happen as soon as possible so as not to prolong their suffering.
"All we want if for justice to be done for Jennifer and her children who have had their mother taken from them".