Man must serve ‘at least 16 years’ for laundrette murder

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A MAGHERAFELT man who shot dead his former partner in a Portstewart laundrette , has been jailed for at least 16 years.

Fred McClenaghan from Broad Street in the town, walked into the laundrette armed with an antique shotgun in March last year and shot Marion Millican, a 51-year-old mother-of-four, in the chest.

Back in July a jury took just over an hour to convict him and the case was adjourned for sentencing.

Forty-nine-year-old McClenaghan, who had denied murdering his former lover after she ended their relationship, had been handed an automatic life sentence for murder and possession of a firearm with intent.

The 16 years is the minimum time he must spent behind bars before being considered for release.

McClenaghan’s defence had claimed the killing was a tragic accident during an attempt by him to take his own life in front of Ms Millican, but the prosecution had maintained he intended to kill her.

The trial at Antrim Crown Court heard that he had been violent towards the victim in the past, having once tried to strangle her and that he had, in a separate incident, once knocked her out.

The court further heard that McClenaghan had repeatedly told counsellors of his dreams of killing himself and his ex-girlfriend - and how he had said that if he couldn’t have her, then no one could.