Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Judge for yourselves

Lord Justice Nicholson
Lord Justice Nicholson

By Stephen Gordon

As Black Widow Julie McGinley launches a media charm offensive to protest her 'innocence' over husband Gerry's murder, Sunday Life exposes her pathetic lies and gives you THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

Ulster's most notorious femme fatale Julie McGinley has launched a charm offensive in a bid to get off with the murder of her husband, Gerry.

In a series of recent interviews and articles the pretty blonde killer has tried to portray herself as a vulnerable, naive little woman — the victim of a terrible miscarriage of justice and a vile media smear campaign.

With a straight face, the woman who admits planting drugs on her husband to get him sent to jail, told one journalist: "I have always been an honest person, law-abiding, too trusting and naive."

McGinley is also trying to clear her name through the Criminal Cases Review Commission. But why should anyone believe a word she says?

Never mind what the media says about her, at the Court of Appeal in 2006, Lord Justice Sir Michael Nicholson said after hearing McGinley in the witness box he was satisfied "she would lie and lie again to serve her own purposes".

The senior judge described the Fermanagh mum-of-two as a "shrewd, devious and quick-witted" liar and it emerged she had even falsified answers to a personality test questionnaire in a cynical bid to deceive psychologists.

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By her own admission McGinley, now 36, lied repeatedly to police when she denied any knowledge of her husband Gerry's killing even though she knew he had been bludgeoned to death by her lover Michael Monaghan at her home in August 2000. She even coolly refused to admit being Monaghan's lover telling cops it was "irrelevant".

When her lies failed and she was behind bars for murder she changed her story claiming that, yes, she was in the house when Monaghan killed Gerry and she had conspired in the cover-up because she was pressurised by Monaghan, whom she feared because he had Real IRA connections.

The Court of Appeal dismissed her new story but McGinley keeps trying it on in an increasingly desperate bid to avoid serving a minimum 15 years for murder.

As McGinley continues to complain about how the media portrays her, it is worth looking back on what Lord Justice Nicholson and fellow Court of Appeal Judges Lord Justice Campbell and Lord Justice Sheil made of her in a damning 62 page judgment.

SEX AND LIES

LJ Nicholson said: "She undoubtedly had sexual relationships with several men during her marriage which she sought to conceal from her husband.

"We are unable to assess the effect on him other than to state that his medical records show that he suffered from depression. At the same time we bear in mind that he was diagnosed as a psychopath."

PLOT TO HAVE HUSBAND JAILED

LJ Nicholson said: "We are satisfied that she was a willing party to a plan in early June 2000 to plant drugs, including heroin and cocaine, in her husband's car so that he would be sent to prison for a long time and enable her to divorce him and obtain custody of the children. She borrowed £3,000 from her father at that time..."

McGinley at first denied plotting with Monaghan and another man to plant drugs in Gerry's car but five years later admitted involvement in the entrapment which led to her husband being arrested by Gardai in the border town of Blacklion.

The plan backfired as the conspirators were duped by drug dealers who sold them the ground-up E tabs and kitchen spice instead of cocaine and heroin.

EXTREME ATTEMPTS TO BLACKEN HUSBAND'S NAME

LJ Nicholson said: "We do not find her story that her husband tried to get her to sleep with Michael Monaghan capable of belief. Her allegation that Mr McGinley indicated that he would have sexual relations with their daughters is against all the evidence and is indicative of the lengths to which she was prepared to go, in order to blacken his name."

Julie McGinley knew her husband was a convicted rapist before their marriage in 1994. She has portrayed him as a wife beating monster who forced her to sleep with other men.

LJ Nicholson said: "There is no means of knowing the extent to which her story of her relationship with her husband is true, but having heard her in the witness-box we are satisfied that she would lie and lie again to serve her own purposes. We have taken into account the medical records of Mr McGinley and the diagnosis that he was a psychopath."

McGinley did not make the allegations about her husband until after her 2002 conviction. She actually told police in an early interview: "Lately, things are good in our marriage".

HUSBAND'S SUICIDE ATTEMPT

McGinley has made much in the media about a suicide attempt by her husband in 1997 and how she saved him. However, commenting on Mrs McGinley's various accounts of her promiscuous sex life, LJ Nicholson said: "No-one asked her whether her husband's attempt to kill himself was as a result of of finding out or being told by her that she was having or had an affair. What we do know is that he suffered from depression.

"Her version of her various affairs differed from doctor to doctor and from her account to the police. For example, she told Dr Joseph (a consultant forensic psychiatrist) but no-one else that her husband demanded that she had sex with the owner of a hotel and she acceded to his demands. She told the police that her husband did not know of it."

IN FEAR OF HER LOVER

At her appeal in 2006 she claimed she had conspired to cover up the truth because she had been pressurised by Michael Monaghan and she was terrified for her family's safety. She claimed she was 'panic stricken' in the aftermath of the killing.

LJ Nicholson said: "We comment that a comparison of the (police) interviews of Mrs McGinley and Mr Monaghan indicate to us that she was much the stronger in character and personality." He added: "...as we have seen, she displayed at interviews with the police a coolness and calmness not shown by Mr Monaghan. For hour after hour she lied to the police."

SKILLED LIAR

On one occasion she suggested to police her husband may have taken his own life although she knew he had been battered to death. Commenting on how Julie McGinley lied to police, LJ Nicholson said: "It is apparent from perusal of the transcripts of (police) interviews that she was shrewd, devious and quick-witted."

DECEIVING DOCTORS

Two psychologists diagnosed Julie McGinley as suffering from a dependent personality disorder on the basis of answers she gave in questionnaires. This diagnosis was rejected by a consultant forensic psychiatrist, Dr Joseph, who highlighted discrepancies in her answers. LJ Nicholson said: " We were convinced by Dr Joseph's evidence, over and above reading her interviews with police, that she does not suffer from a personality disorder and that she deliberately falsified her answer to the Millen (personality test) questionnaire."

It emerged she had also "played the role of distressed wife" with her GP after falsely reporting her husband missing.

ENNISKILLEN BOMB

In a newspaper article last weekend McGinley recalled how she had been a depressed and frightened 17-year-old. She cited personal tragedies for her vulnerability including how she survived with minor physical injuries the Enniskillen Poppy Day bomb in 1987. By referring to these earlier traumas McGinley seems to be trying to suggest she remained vulnerable in adulthood, easily exploited by her husband and then her lover.

But at her appeal, LJ Nicholson quoted forensic psychiatrist Dr Joseph as saying: "Despite experiencing traumatic events during her teenage years, the defendant did not develop any symptoms of mental disorder, on the basis of her educational records she appears to have been a resilient, strong-willed, determined person who was considered emotionally well adjusted to take up a position in the RUC."



l Judge for yourself. You can read LJ Nicholson's 62 page judgment plus Julie McGinley's August 2005 statement at www.courtsni.gov.uk/en-GB/Judicial+Decisions/Judgments/j_j_nicf5628.htm

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