Child killer Jordan Monaghan must serve 40 years in prison before parole as he was given three mandatory life sentences for smothering two of his children to death and murdering his new partner with a drugs overdose.
The 30-year-old was ordered to be brought to court by the judge for sentencing after missing the past few days of his trial by saying he felt unwell.
Monaghan, a manipulative and controlling gambling addict, was not present as the guilty verdicts were delivered by the jury foreman on Friday morning, following six days of deliberations after a 10-week trial at Preston Crown Court.
After being brought from prison on the judge’s orders, he sat in the dock expressionless and showing no emotion.
Monaghan, of Belgrave Close, Blackburn, was convicted of three murders, the first by smothering his daughter Ruby, aged 24 days, as she slept in a Moses basket on New Year’s Day 2013.
Eight months later he smothered his 21-month-old son Logan in a public swimming baths cubicle. Six years after that, he murdered his new partner Ms Adams with a drugs overdose.
Passing three mandatory life sentences for murder, Mr Justice Goose said: “Your victims were your children, then your partner.
“It is difficult to know why you carried out these offences. Having listened to the evidence in this trial, in short you are an exceptionally controlling, selfish and cruel man.
“The trigger to these offences were your volatile relationships.
Speaking of Ruby, the judge added: “Her life had barely started and you extinguished it.”
Miss Gray, in her victim impact statement, parts of which were read to the court, said: “All I ever wanted to be was to be a mum and give my children the love and opportunities I never had growing up.
“When the children were born they consumed my world. I loved every single day I had with them.
“Jordan was their daddy, he was one of the two people who was meant to love and protect them the most in the whole world.
“Instead he did the opposite.”
Earlier, the court heard Monaghan killed because he could not face rejection by his partners.
The construction worker, of Belgrave Close, Blackburn, smothered Ruby on New Year’s Day 2013 as she slept in her Moses basket. Monaghan was alone with the child as her mother slept upstairs at the family home.
The next day he took their son, Logan, aged 21 months, to a local swimming pool, Waves, in Blackburn.
While alone in a cubicle in the changing rooms he smothered the chid.
Ruby’s and Logan’s deaths were both investigated as sudden and unexplained events but the girl’s death was attributed to bronchiolitis and Logan’s cause of death remained “unascertained”.
A review was carried out by Lancashire Police after further information came to light and Monaghan was arrested and bailed on suspicion of murder in January 2018.
He was on police bail for the child murders when he murdered his new girlfriend Miss Adams with a deadly cocktail of prescription drugs in October 2019.
As the highly complex police investigation continued, Monaghan began a “toxic” relationship with mother-of-one Miss Adams who had suffered “chronic abuse” before becoming a foster child aged 12.
Police warned her not to be with him and a court order was made banning contact.
But the relationship continued and, while on bail for the murder of his children, Monaghan killed Miss Adams after she threatened to dump him.
Monaghan told her: “I won’t keep putting up with you saying we are over.”
The defendant illegally bought strong prescription drugs on the black market via WhatsApp and other contacts.
Miss Adams was found to have tramadol, diazepam, amitriptyline, zopiclone and pregabalin medication in her body after her collapse and death on October 24 2019.
She died from tramadol and diazepam toxicity.
Monaghan then faked a suicide note from Miss Adams, discovered apparently by chance falling out of a picture frame as he removed the couple’s favourite photo of themselves to place in her coffin.
He was rearrested in January this year and charged with all three murders.
He claimed to have nothing to do with the death of his children but a dozen experts told the court that while the exact cause of the deaths was difficult to pin down, imposed airway obstruction was either “likely” or could not be ruled out.
Monaghan also claimed the illegal prescription drugs were for himself and denied ever giving any to Miss Adams.
He was convicted of the three murders and two counts of attempted murder in relation to a third child who cannot be identified for legal reasons