Murderer who killed mother-of-four in ‘shocking act of violence' will serve at least 17 years behind bars

Murderer who killed mother-of-four in ‘shocking act of violence' will serve at least 17 years behind bars

A MAN who killed a mother-of-four in her home will serve at least 17 years behind bars for her murder.

Taylor McIlvenna appeared before Belfast Crown Court on May 29, in connection with the murder of his ex-partner Caoimhe Morgan in north Belfast in 2021.

McIlvenna, aged 32, who is originally from Greyabbey Road in Ballywalter, County Down, was handed a life sentence in January after pleading guilty to murder.

Yesterday, he was told he will serve a minimum of 17 years in prison before being considered for parole.

The court heard that Ms Morgan’s body was found in her home on the morning of Saturday, December 18 in 2021.

Taylor McIlvenna attacked Caoimhe Morgan in her home

The 30-year-old had sustained multiple injuries to the front and back of her head, which a postmortem examination revealed had been caused by blunt force trauma.

One of her children was found cradling her body, PSNI Detective Superintendent Darren McCartney confirmed.

"Caoimhe was murdered by Taylor McIlvenna in a senseless and shocking act of violence,” he said.

“This was an attack, in her own home, that took her life and changed the lives of others forever.

“Four young children have been left without their loving mother.

“Heartbreakingly, one of the little ones was found at the scene trying to comfort his mother’s lifeless body.  This is distressing beyond words.”

Caoimhe Morgan was 30 when attacked and killed by her ex-partner

Det Supt McCartney added: “This was a vicious and frenzied unprovoked assault during which McIlvenna struck the victim repeatedly, ultimately causing her death.

“Following her murder, he used the victim’s phone to send a series of texts to her family members, pretending to be the victim in an attempt to cover his tracks.”

Following McIlvenna’s sentencing, Det Supt McCartney thanked the local community in Belfast for their assistance with the case.

“The evidence they provided has been vital to our investigation, leading to the conviction of the defendant,” he said.

“Working in partnership with the Public Prosecution Service, McIlvenna has now been held accountable for this most brutal and irreversible act, and will have time to reflect upon his actions in prison,” he added.

“The sorrow and heartache of Caoimhe’s family and friends won’t end with today’s sentencing.

“Nothing I can say will take away their pain, and I can only extend my sincere sympathy, and indeed those of every single person involved in this investigation to the children and wider family.”

Caoimhe Morgan's body was found being comforted by one of her four children

Detective Superintendent McCartney went on to make an appeal to anyone who may be trapped in an abusive relationship.

“Domestic abuse is not just physical,” he said, “it can take many forms, including emotional abuse.”

He added: “We know that victims can feel vulnerable, and we’ve sadly seen, in this case, abuse can fatally escalate.

“I am keen to encourage any victims of abuse to come forward.  We will listen to you and we will treat you with total respect and sensitivity. You don’t have to suffer in silence.

“Please contact us on 101, or in an emergency call 999."