A DIGGER driver accused of murdering two of his children later poisoned his partner with a fatal dose of drugs, a jury has been told.

Triple murder accused Jordan Monaghan, 29, is responsible for the deaths of his son Logan and daughter Ruby, who died aged 21 months and three weeks respectively, the Crown Prosecution Service say.

Monaghan is also thought to be responsible for the death of his girlfriend Evie Adams, who died in 2019, the court was told. Ms Adams was not the mother of his children. 

On the opening day of his trial at Preston Crown Court, prosecutor Andrew Smith QC told the jury that both of Monaghan’s children had suffered ‘collapses’ on separate occasions before dying in 2013.

Both had been seen by medics in the days and months before their deaths but other than usual childhood illnesses no serious medical condition was found.

Ruby, who died in Royal Blackburn Hospital on New Year’s Day at the age of 24 days, was originally thought to have died of natural causes, though the prosecution say they believe Monaghan had intentionally obstructed her airway.

Several months later Logan died in similar circumstances.

Mr Smith added: “The children suffered from more than one collapse when alone with the defendant.

“Ruby and Logan died on different dates in 2013 following a second collapse.

“The prosecution contends that Monaghan unlawfully and deliberately obstructed their breathing.

“In addition, the prosecution also say that he is responsible for the murder of his then partner Evie Adams in October 2019.

“Evie Adams died on October 24, 2019 from a fatal overdose of the prescription medicines Tramadol and Diazepam.

“The prosecution contend that he had illegally acquired the powerful prescription medicines and provided them to Ms Adams covertly over a number of days causing her death.”

The court also heard Monaghan had issues with gambling and that money had been a regular cause for arguments between him and the mother of his children, to whom he was engaged. 

On December 15, 2012, one-week old Ruby was taken to A and E at the hospital with thrush and discharged the same day, and five days later seen by her GP for an infection in her fingernail.

Three days before her death Miss Gray was upstairs when Monaghan called her down, saying Ruby was “breathing funny”.

The baby looked pale and blue on her lips, an ambulance was called and she was taken to hospital where she spent two nights for observation.

The initial diagnosis was Ruby had suffered a “temporary pause in her breathing” and consultants later diagnosed early bronchiolitis, but she continued to improve and was discharged on December 31 without any medication prescribed.

In the early hours of New Year’s Day, Ruby’s mother was woken up by the defendant downstairs, shouting “You need to get down. I don’t think Ruby is breathing”.

The child was in her Moses basket looking pale and not responding and an ambulance was called as Monaghan performed CPR on his daughter.

Paramedics took her to hospital and she was diagnosed with cardiac respiratory arrest.

Doctors could find no physical indications or injuries to cause her rapid deterioration and despite emergency treatment she did not recover consciousness and was pronounced dead at 2.45am on New Year’s Day, 2013, aged 24 days.

Monaghan later told police he found Ruby in her Moses basket not breathing and a sudden death investigation was begun.

But a post-mortem examination conducted by a pathologist concluded Ruby had died from acute bronchopneumonia.

Mr Smith told the jury the pathologist was “mistaken” – Ruby did not die of natural causes but because her father had deliberately obstructed her breathing.

Monaghan, of Belgrave Close, Blackburn, who is also charged with the attempted murder of another child, denies all charges.

The proceeding trial is expected to last 10 weeks.