‘Murdered in her own home’: Belfast man jailed for 17 years after beating partner to death in ‘devastating attack’

Caoimhe Morgan (30) was murdered by Taylor George McIlvenna (33) in her home in December 2021

A 33-year old man who murdered his partner in her north Belfast home has been jailed for a minimum of 17 years.

Caoimhe Morgan (30) was beaten to death by her partner of six years, Taylor George McIlvenna, in December 2021 while two of her four children were in the property.

As he imposed the tariff upon McIlvenna at Belfast Crown Court, Mr Justice McFarland said Ms Morgan “suffered a devastating attack involving multiple blows, a collision with a hard surface which was almost certainly the bedroom wall, hair loss and an element of asphyxiation”.

McIlvenna, from Highvale Gardens, Belfast, is believed to have beaten Ms Morgan to death some time between 2am and 2.30am on December 18th while under the influence of cocaine.

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Mr Justice McFarland described the relationship between the couple as “volatile” and said McIlvenna had a “significant criminal record” consisting of 47 convictions, including a prior attack against Ms Morgan.

When he murdered Ms Morgan, McIlvenna was on bail and also the subject of a probation order.

At Wednesday’s tariff hearing, Mr Justice McFarland said he had read victim impact statements from Ms Morgan’s loved ones.

The judge said each of the statements “set out the personal devastation suffered by the sudden death of a much-loved” woman.

He also cited several aggravating factors, one of which was that Ms Morgan was “murdered in her own home, a place where everyone is entitled to feel safe and secure”.

Another aggravating factor highlighted by the judge was the presence of children in the house at the time of the fatal attack.

The judge also spoke of prior incidents of domestic violence which included McIlvenna attacking Ms Morgan in a fast food outlet in August 2019, as well as him “monitoring” her activities and conduct, which he said was “motivated by a jealous attitude”.

Mr Justice McFarland said he had taken into consideration McIlvenna’s mental health issues, which included two admissions to a psychiatric unit.

Also taken into account was McIlvenna’s guilty plea to murdering Ms Morgan, which attracted a life sentence.

With Ms Morgan’s family present in the public gallery, the senior judge imposed the minimum 17-year sentence, which McIlvenna will serve in full before he is considered eligible for release by the Parole Commissioners.

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