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Newry deaths: Mother and daughter’s killings were ‘barbaric’


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Newry deaths: Mother and daughter’s killings were ‘barbaric’

Image copyright PSNI Image caption Giselle Marimon-Herrera and her daughter Allison were found dead in March 2019 A Scottish manual worker killed his partner before raping and killing her teenage daughter at a flat in Newry, County Down, an inquest has heard.Coroner Joe McCrisken described the deaths of Giselle Marimon-Herrera, 37, from Colombia, and her…

Newry deaths: Mother and daughter’s killings were ‘barbaric’

Giselle Marimon-Herrera and her daughter AllisonImage copyright
PSNI

Image caption

Giselle Marimon-Herrera and her daughter Allison were found dead in March 2019

A Scottish manual worker killed his partner before raping and killing her teenage daughter at a flat in Newry, County Down, an inquest has heard.

Coroner Joe McCrisken described the deaths of Giselle Marimon-Herrera, 37, from Colombia, and her 15-year-old daughter Allison as “barbaric”.

He said the inquest at Armagh Courthouse was “one of the most difficult” he had ever presided over.

The bodies of the mother and daughter were discovered on 7 March 2019.

Asphyxiation

Ms Marimon-Herrera’s 38-year-old partner, Russell Steele, was also found dead in the apartment at Glin Ree Court.

The coroner found Ms Marimon-Herrera died from asphyxiation and suffocation, while her daughter died due to manual strangulation and suffocation.

The coroner said he could not be satisfied that Ms Marimon-Herrera had been sexually assaulted, but there was evidence her daughter had been raped.

Steele, who had moved to Northern Ireland from Kilmarnock, was found to have taken his own life.

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Newray Pics

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Russell Steele was originally from Scotland

The inquest heard Steele’s family had been kept informed of the proceedings, but chose not to attend.

At the opening of proceedings on Thursday morning, a statement from Ms Marimon-Herrera’s sister Paola was read to the inquest.

She described how her sister had arrived in Northern Ireland in 2016 after separating from her Portuguese husband and was followed by her daughter in 2017.

She also told the inquest that her sister had felt Steele was “controlling” and she had wanted to end the relationship.

A PSNI officer said text messages exchanged between Steele and Ms Marimon-Herrera revealed she attempted to end the relationship.

Ward Devlin, an ex-partner of Ms Marimon-Herrera, gave evidence to the inquest about how he raised the alarm after she failed to respond to messages for several days.

‘Agitated’

Neighbour Gerard Doran is believed to be the last person to have seen Steele alive.

He recalled to the inquest seeing Steele standing at the front door of the apartment complex on Sunday, 3 March, holding a holdall and a plastic bag, looking “agitated” and “unable to stand still”.

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Pacemaker

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A neighbour reported seeing Steele at the front of the apartment block looking agitated

An examination of a laptop found in the apartment revealed research on lethal doses of paracetamol at 05:20 GMT on Monday, 4 March.

Mr McCrisken put it to the officer that Steele had been preparing to leave, before changing his mind and returning to the apartment, where he took his own life.

“If you are asking my personal opinion, then yes,” she responded.

Phones wiped

Steele had two passports, his phone and torn underwear, which DNA evidence found was likely to have belonged to Allison Marimon-Herrera, in his pockets.

The inquest also heard that phones likely to have been used by Ms Marimon-Herrera and her daughter had no recoverable information on them.

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“It appears that the information was deleted from both devices,” Ms Holmes said.

The inquest heard Steele had a criminal record, which included a conviction for an assault which led to an eight-month prison sentence.

Allison Marimon-Herrera was described as quiet. The teenager had battled with an eating disorder in the past, but had been doing well at the time of her death. She was a pupil at Newry High School.

Delivering his findings, Mr McCrisken said the killings were “an impulsive act carried out by an individual with a history of aggression and violence”.

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