Northern Ireland news

Man wanted over murder of Jennifer Dornan in ‘critical condition', court told

Jennifer Dornan was murdered at her home in Lagmore in west Belfast in August last year
Staff Reporter

A MAN wanted over the murder of west Belfast mother-of-three Jennifer Dornan is in “critical condition”, a court in Dublin has been told.

Raymond O'Neill is facing charges of murder and arson in connection with the death of the 30-year-old, who was found stabbed in her burning house in Hazel View in the Lagmore area of Belfast in August 2015.

O'Neill (37), with a previous address in Summerhill Walk, Dunmurry, was arrested by gardaí in Dublin in February on foot of a European Arrest Warrant.

A previous extradition hearing at the city's High Court had been adjourned after he took a drugs overdose in his cell in the Midlands prison on the day he was due to appear.

He was discovered unconscious in his cell by prison staff and was thought to have consumed both illegal and prescription medication.

The PSNI believe they have a strong case against O’Neill who was captured on CCTV close to the scene and at several locations on the night of the attack.

Justice Aileen Donnelly was told on Monday that, due to health reasons, O’Neill was still unable to attend court in person.

Caroline Cummings, for O’Neill, told the court that her client “remains in a critical condition”.

However, Ms Cummings said that she had not been provided with “any medical evidence” regarding O’Neill’s state of health.

Earlier, Judge Donnelly had expressed her dissatisfaction over the lack of information the court had about O’Neill’s well-being.

Referring to a previous order she had made for a medical report to be “made available by close of business last Friday”, the judge added: “I require some reason why the order I made seeking a detailed report has not been made.”

The judge said the court required the report to assess O’Neill’s “capacity to give instructions in relation to the matter”.

Ms Dornan (30) was stabbed to death with a kitchen knife before her home was set alight in what detectives believe was an attempt to destroy evidence.

The victim’s children have been cared for by her mother since the murder.

O’Neill was remanded in custody and his extradition hearing was adjourned until December 19.

Northern Ireland news

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