A Scottish man killed his partner before raping and killing her teenage daughter, an inquest in Co Armagh has heard.
Coroner Joe McCrisken described the deaths of Giselle Marimon-Herrera, 37, from Colombia, and her 15-year-old daughter Allison as “barbaric”, and “one of the most difficult” inquests he has ever presided over.
The bodies of the mother and daughter were discovered in an apartment in Newry on March 7, 2019 along with Russell Steele by police after they had all been reported missing.
Mr McCrisken found Ms Marimon-Herrera died from asphyxiation and suffocation and Miss Marimon-Herrera died due to manual strangulation and suffocation.
Their chihuahua dog was also found dead.
He said he could not be satisfied that Ms Marimon-Herrera had been sexually assaulted, but that there is evidence her daughter had been raped.
Steele was found to have died by hanging and had intended to die.
At the opening of proceedings on Thursday morning, Mr McCrisken said he was holding separate inquests into the deaths of Ms Marimon-Herrera and her daughter, and Steele.
He heard evidence about events in the run up to the deaths.
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.
PSNI investigating officer Victoria Holmes said text messages exchanged between Steele and Ms Marimon-Herrera revealed a recent argument which included an attempt by her to end the relationship.
A statement from Steele’s ex-wife was read to the inquest.
Margaret Steele said she met him through church as he battled a heroin addiction.
They had a temporary split in 2010 when he relapsed but in total they were married for 17 years and had two children together.
The marriage ended after she discovered her husband was having an affair with Ms Marimon-Herrera who he had previously met in Spain before reconnecting via social media. He then left their home in Kilmarnock to move to Northern Ireland.
The inquest heard Steele had a criminal record, which included a conviction for an assault which led to an eight-month prison sentence.
Delivering his findings, Mr McCrisken said neither Ms Marimon-Herrera nor her daughter would have been likely to have been able to fend off Steele.
“The killing of Giselle Marimon-Herrera and her 15-year-old daughter Allison by Russell Steele was barbaric,” he said.
“Giselle Marimon-Herrera was a woman of small stature. Her 15-year-old daughter and her would have been unable to offer any resistance against an attack by Russell Steele.
“I am satisfied that he acted alone for a reason that is unknown. The killings were an impulsive act carried out by an individual with a history of aggression and violence.”
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