Belfast man who killed his mother sentenced to 14 years in prison

A man who stabbed his mom to death believing she was “romantically involved” with one of his friends was told today (Thursday) he will spend a minimum of 14 years in jail before being considered for release.

Ordan Kennedy, 23, from Haywood Avenue in south Belfast, is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty last November to the murder of his mother, Emma Jane McParland.

Kennedy appeared at Belfast Crown Court via video link from Magaberry Jail today (Thursday) for a tariff ruling that determined how long he would spend in prison before he could apply for release from custody.

Saying that Kennedy must serve 14 years in full, Judge O’Hara said that parole officers will consider all information they have about Kennedy before deciding whether he still poses a serious risk of harm to society and therefore must remain in jail. for a further period of time.

Ms McParland (39) was in the ground floor apartment of her home on Haywood Avenue off Ormeaux Road on April 22, 2020 with two other people, a friend and her partner, who were sleeping on the sofa in the living room.

According to the prosecution, the friend was awakened around 1:45 am by loud noises coming from the kitchen and hallway. She heard Ms. McParland scream, “What are you doing, Jordan? Stop”.

When she opened the door, she saw that the accused was standing in the corridor. He ran away when he saw her. She saw that he had a knife in his hand. She called an ambulance and tried to help Ms. McParland, but at 2 am she was pronounced dead.

The autopsy report recorded that the victim had received five stab wounds, including one on the left chest that caused severe bleeding leading to her death.

Kennedy was arrested by police at 2:10 am. The bloody 12-inch kitchen knife he used to kill her was found at 2:38 a.m. in a trash can behind her house during a search.

Kennedy confessed to killing his mother, telling police that he believed she was in a relationship with one or more of his friends and that he was angry and humiliated about it and was taunted about it via text messages.

Mr Justice O’Hara said the “sincere” statements by Ms McParland’s mother and one of her sisters about the impact on the victim showed that she was “an important and much loved figure in their entire life”.

A pre-sentencing report compiled by the Probation Service stated that the defendant had a “close bond with his mother and was “very protective of her”, and she tried to get her son’s help, which he needed for his “complicated needs”.

Judge O’Hara said: “All of this information shows that Ms. McParland cared for and loved her family, including this defendant, and that love was mutual.

“The tragedy of it all is that the person who killed was her oldest child, whom she tried so hard to help.”

At the time of the assassination, Kennedy had violated a suspended sentence handed down six weeks earlier for carrying a blade in public, and he had also previously been convicted of possession of an offensive weapon.

He also violated the terms of a release license after being jailed in 2016 for causing death by dangerous driving by a friend.

The Probation Board’s report added that the defendant, who was judged to be a danger to society, “expressed remorse for the two deaths he had caused and considered his mother to be his best friend.” It’s hard for him to come to terms with the murder of his son.” mother.”

Mr Justice O’Hara said the defendant had “showed remorse” for the murder, but that his family on his mother’s side was doubtful.

The judge said: “I understand that there has been some friction between different parts of the family, but I cannot pretend to understand what you are going through, especially Ms. McParland’s mother and the siblings.

“I urge them to rally around Ms McParland’s three children, including this accused.”

He added that he had also received a letter from the defendant’s paternal grandmother.

She wrote: “I am heartbroken at the loss of Emma and also at the loss of my grandson and my two granddaughters.

“I can’t imagine how Emma’s mother and siblings feel. The grief I feel for Emma and the children is unimaginable.

“For the sake of my two youngest grandchildren, I hope families can find a way to get through this disaster and help these children.”