Magherafelt man Fred McClenaghan found guilty of murdering former lover

Freddie McClenaghan was found guilty after just over an hour's deliberation by the jury
Freddie McClenaghan was found guilty after just over an hour's deliberation by the jury

Magherafelt man Freddie McClenaghan has been convicted and jailed for life for murdering his former lover Marion Millican for ending their relationship.

It took the Antrim Crown Court jury of six men and five women just 75 minutes, to find that when consumed with jealous anger he intentionally blasted her in the chest with an antique shotgun in the launderette where she worked in Portstewart in March 2011.

While the 52-year-old father of two from Broad Street, Magherafelt, showed no emotion at the verdict, in the public gallery just behind him, there were muted cheers and clapping from Mrs Millican family and friends.

Then as McClenaghan was led off to prison for this second time, the emotion of the occasion got to some in the gallery who cursed at and told him: “You took our Marion and we won’t forget it”.

By their verdict the jury clearly rejected McClenaghan’s admission, as had the prosecution, that he was guilty only of manslaughter, and his claims that his ex-partner’s death was an ‘horrific accident’.

Throughout the case, the prosecution have always rejected his explanation for the events of that terrible day, insisting that it was “murder pure and simple”, and the jury agreed with them.

McClenaghan, who refused to give evidence on his own behalf, had claimed in a statement to police that he had gone to the launderette to kill himself in front of the mum of four, but the shotgun went off after a struggle.

During his 27 day trial at Belfast Laganside courthouse the jury heard that McClenaghan repeatedly told counsellors of his wishes and dreams of wanting to kill himself and his ex-girlfriend.