The man who murdered a mother-of-one from Belfast had threatened to kill her at least three times in the weeks before her death.
And it can also be revealed the killer was already under investigation for possession of an offensive weapon.
Gordon Molloy (24) of Ballinakill, Ballickmoyler, Co Laois, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday after being found guilty of the murder of 22-year-old Ciara Campbell in her rented house in Carlow.
The murder was witnessed by her then four-year-old son Jamie, who now lives with his grandparents and sometimes asks them, “can we talk to mammy?”.
Ciara's father said yesterday that Molloy had threatened her after she ended their on-off relationship, and told her that if she ever found a new boyfriend “he would kill her”.
In July of 2007 — four months before Ciara's murder — he was found by gardai with snooker balls stuffed into a sock.
Molloy pleaded guilty in the district court in April of last year — while on remand on the charge of murdering Ciara Campbell — to a charge of possessing an offensive weapon, and received a three-month prison sentence in January.
He already had other convictions for public order and criminal damage.
Ciara's father, Micheal O Cuinneagain, said yesterday that the family distrusted Gordon Molloy for some time before the November 2007 killing.
“Molloy had threatened her on numerous occasions and Ciara passed on those threats to us.”
On one occasion three witnesses heard his threat to Ciara and this was heard in court during the murder trial, but on two other dates there were no witnesses and Ciara informed her father about what Molloy said.
“Molloy and her were finished and she'd kept him out of the house,” Mr O Cuinneagain said.
“He hassled her day in, day out. There were times when the little fella would tell me, ‘granddad, Gordie Molloy was around last night'. I said to Ciara, ‘What was he doing?'.
She said he was looking to see if he could get back with her, and I said to her: ‘That's harassment’.”
One Sunday shortly before Ciara's death, Micheal told her he'd bring her to the gardai in Bagenalstown or Carlow to report this harassment, but she declined because she knew he was already being investigated for something else.
Little Jamie is now living with Ciara's parents Micheal and his wife Paidi Campbell, and attends the national school where Micheal teaches.
“He goes to school with me and comes home in the evening with me. Sometimes I could be driving down the road and he'd say to me, ‘can we talk to mammy? Gordie Molloy killed my mammy.'”
Jamie was in the house at Ardmore Gardens in the Brownshill area of Carlow when Molloy stabbed his mother several times.
Ciara and Gordon Molloy were in a relationship for about 16 to 18 months from early 2006 until late 2007 and, in the early days, Ciara's parents thought her boyfriend a “respectable” type, before his controlling and domineering side came to the fore.
“They finished up three or four times,” recalls her father. “One time Molloy was in Limerick doing a course and was gone for about three months.
“It was all off. It wasn't the steadiest of relationships. I don't know how they met, it was probably in Carlow somewhere.”
Ciara was the couple's only child but now they only have their memories, and their grandson.
“She was a lovely, caring person. She had a lovely smile. The text messages, the favours, the arguments — that's all gone. All robbed from us. We have Jamie now and he's part of Ciara.”