Man found guilty of manslaughter of Jasmine McMonagle on grounds of diminished responsibility
A MAN has been found guilty of the manslaughter of Jasmine McMonagle in Co Donegal more than four years ago on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Richard Burke (32), of Killygordon in Co Donegal, had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.
A mother-of-two, Ms McMonagle (28) was strangled and beaten in her home in the early hours of January 4 2019.
The unanimous verdict was returned by a jury at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Monaghan.
Prosecution counsel Anne Marie Lawlor told the jury that Ms McMonagle was a devoted mother who was deeply loved by her friends and family.
Michael Bowman for the defence said that what happened to Ms McMonagle was "beyond explanation, excuse and beyond words".
He said that Burke accepted responsibility adding that mental illness was at the heart of the case.
The trial had heard from two psychiatrists who agreed that Burke was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the killing which substantially diminished his responsibility.
Trial judge, Mr Justice Paul Burns, told the jury there was no evidence that Ms McGonagle was anything other than a "good mother and a good person".
He added that members of the jury they must put their feelings aside and deliver a unanimous verdict.
He said that a finding of not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility was not an acquittal or a not guilty verdict.