Northern Ireland

Fred McClenaghan guilty of Marion Millican murder

Marion Millican
Image caption Marion Millican, a mother of four, was shot dead at a launderette last March

A man has been convicted of murdering his former lover at a launderette in Portstewart , County Londonderry.

Marion Millican, a mother of four originally from Coleraine, was shot dead at her workplace on 11 March 2011.

The 51-year-old suffered a shotgun wound to her chest and died at the scene.

Fred McClenaghan, 49, from Broad Street in Magherafelt, had claimed that he accidentally shot her while attempting to kill himself in front of her.

He had been in a relationship with Mrs Millican but it had ended a few months before she was killed.

On Tuesday, Judge Corinne Philpott told McClenaghan he would have to serve a life sentence.

During the trial at Antrim Crown Court, the jury heard from Ken Millican, the deceased's husband, who went to the scene shortly after the shooting took place.

He said they were attempting to rekindle their marriage in the months prior to the shooting.

Strangle

Mr Millican explained that his wife had moved out of their family home in 2009, after 34 years of marriage.

He said he became aware that she was having a relationship with Fred McClenaghan, someone they had both socialised with.

He told the court he had stayed in touch with his wife after she had moved out and that her relationship with Mr McClenaghan had ended in December 2010.

Mr Millican also said that Marion had told him that Mr McClenaghan had once tried to strangle her after a night out and in a separate incident, had knocked her out.

He described in court how he had found his wife's body on the floor of the launderette on the day of the shooting and tried to find a pulse.

He said he knew she was dead when he saw the blood.

Blasted

The trial also heard from Mrs Millican's work colleague, Pamela Henry, who was with her in the launderette when Mr McClenaghan came in and armed with a shotgun.

A tape of Ms Henry's police interview was played to the jury, in which she described how Mr McClenaghan grabbed Mrs Millican by the arm and demanded that she leave the launderette with him.

Mrs Henry said he aimed a shot into the ground, and blasted a hole in the floor between the two women.

The witness said she was terrified and said she locked herself in a toilet, but Mr McClenaghan forced the door open and tried to take her mobile phone from her.

Mrs Henry later escaped from the launderette and raised the alarm.

Ms Millican was shot with an antique, double-barrelled shotgun which dated back as far as the late 19th century.

The police confirmed during the trial that the gun was never licensed to anyone in Northern Ireland.

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