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West Belfast man goes on trial for the murder of mother-of-three Jennifer Dornan

Jennifer Dornan was murdered in her home in 2015 Jennifer Dornan was murdered in her home in 2015
By Ciara Quinn

A 41-year-old man has gone on trial for the 2015 murder of Jennifer Dornan.
A jury was told on Monday that prosecutors believe her West Belfast home was set on fire after she was murdered.
Raymond O’Neill, formerly of Amcomri Street in the lower Falls, is accused of killing Ms Dornan and setting fire to her home. He denies the charge.
30-year-old mother-of-three Jennifer Dornan was found dead in August 2015 after a house fire at her Hazel View home in the Lagmore area. It was later confirmed by the PSNI that Ms Dornan had been stabbed to death before her home was set ablaze. The property was so badly damaged that the roof had collapsed.
A prosecution lawyer told the jury that prosecutors believe Mr O’Neill followed Ms Dornan to her home in the early hours of a Sunday morning, stabbed her to death in her bedroom and “set the house on fire to destroy evidence”.
He said three stab wounds to her chest and a post mortem examination showed that “she had been killed before the fire had started”.
The prosecution explained to the jury that it is alleged that the defendant was in a car which collected the victim on Saturday evening to bring her to the home of a friend to get ready for a night out. It is also alleged that both the defendant and the victim were at a house having drinks with friends after Ms Dornan and a friend were collected from a bar at about 1.30am.
CCTV images shown in court, taken from a house beside Ms Dornan’s home, captured her walking home at about 3am, followed shortly afterwards by a man whose face was covered by a light coloured jacket.
The prosecution alleges that person was Mr O’Neill and that he “left the country” during the investigation into the murder and was arrested in the Republic of Ireland.
Mr O’Neill, who entered and left the dock in a wheelchair, denies the charges.

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