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Baby was 'absolutely fine' hours before being found dead, court told

A mother has today told a court how she found her 24-day-old daughter not breathing in her Moses basket after her partner had stayed up to do the night time feed over New Year. 

Alleged triple killer, Jordan Monaghan, 30, is accused of smothering his daughter, Ruby, aged 24 days, on New Year's Day, 2013, eight months before also smothering his son, Logan, aged 21 months.

He also denies the murder of his new partner, Evie Adams, 23, six years later in October 2019, by giving her an overdose of tramadol and diazepam. 

Laura Gray, the mother of Ruby and Logan, told the court she was woken by her then-partner Monaghan who said Ruby was unresponsive just hours after the defendant had fed her for the first time.

The 28-year-old rushed downstairs and into the living room to find her baby in her Moses basket.

A jury heard that Ruby was rushed to hospital where she was later pronounced dead. 

Laura Gray (pictured with accused killer Jordan Monaghan in 2013) told a jury her baby Ruby was 'fine' just hours before being found dead after Monaghan had fed her for the first time

Ms Gray said hours before Ruby died, she and the defendant had put Logan to bed and watched TV. She told the court her daughter had fed normally and was 'absolutely fine'.

After seeing in the new year, she went to bed just after midnight with Ruby sleeping in her Moses basket on the living room floor.

For the first time, Monaghan offered to stay up to give Ruby her 2am feed. But she was awoken shortly before 2am by her partner shouting from downstairs.  

She said: 'I'm not sure of the time but I heard Jordan shouting me from the bottom of the stairs, saying 'Laura, come down. I don't think Ruby is breathing'.

'She looked grey and her lips were blue. She felt clammy.

'I took the blanket off her and opened her babygrow and couldn't see her breathing so I picked her up and told Jordan to ring for an ambulance.'

The jury heard how Monaghan performed CPR on the tot until the paramedics arrived.

An ambulance was called and rushed the child to hospital accompanied by her mother, but she did not regain consciousness and despite emergency treatment Ruby was pronounced dead at 2.45am.

Monaghan denied the murders of his children Ruby and Logan (left) in 2013 and the murder of his new partner Evie Adams (right) in 2019 and the trial continues at Preston Crown Court

Ms Gray asked a nurse to call Monaghan, before he arrived at the hospital, but not to tell him their daughter had died.

However, when he got there and Ms Gray told him their daughter was dead, he replied, 'I know, I know' saying a nurse had told him on the phone.

But the jury heard none of the hospital staff made such a call to tell him. 

Miss Gray added: 'Jordan just came up to me and said 'I know, I know' and gave me a cuddle.

'I think I said to him that Ruby had passed away and he said 'I know, I know'.

'He said the nurse had rung him to tell him.'

A post-mortem examination concluded Ruby had died from acute bronchopneumonia.

But Duncan Smith QC, prosecuting, told the jury the pathologist was 'mistaken' and Ruby did not die from natural causes but from her father deliberately obstructing her breathing.

Jordan Monaghan, 30, denies three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and two counts of cruelty to a child and is standing trial at Preston Crown Court (pictured)

Monaghan, of Blackburn, is also charged with murdering son Logan on August 17, 2013.

The court heard Miss Gray found her son dead in his buggy after Monaghan had taken him swimming.

Monaghan is alleged to have attempted to kill a third child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, before murdering his new partner, Evie Adams, 23, in October 2019.

The prosecution say the 30-year-old used the prescription drugs Tramadol and Diazepam that he bought on the black market and fed to Miss Adams 'covertly without her agreement or knowledge'.

Monaghan denies three counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and two counts of cruelty to a child, all between January 1 2013 and October 24 2019.

Monaghan, who had gambling problems and debts, had rowed with his partner Miss Gray who had said she was leaving him, the court heard.

The defendant had taken out a credit card in Miss Gray's name and had racked up around £2,000 in online gambling debts.

The defendant had texted Miss Gray the day before Logan's death saying: 'I love you…I don't want to lose you', and the child's death brought them closer together, the jury was told.

The trial continues.​