Magherafelt man on trial for murder awaits jury verdict

Murder accused Fred McClenaghan.
Murder accused Fred McClenaghan.

THE jury in the trial of a 52-year-old Magherafelt man who claims he accidentally shot his former girlfriend while intending to kill himself are to retire to consider their verdict, on Wednesday afternoon.

Fred McClenaghan, from Broad Street, Magherafelt, admits the manslaughter of Marion Millican, but denies murdering the mum of four on March 11, 2011 at the Portstewart launderette where she worked.

On Tuesday trial judge Mr Justice Treacy told the Antrim Crown Court jury of six men and five women, (yes 11), sitting in Belfast, there were three cruical issues in the case.

Whether McClenaghan deliberately fired the antique shotgun, or accidently discharged the weapon, and if and when he did so, was he suffering from deminished responsibility.

The prosecution claim that the dad of two deliberately shot Ms Millican dead out of “anger, jealousy and resentment’’ after she had ended their relationship the previous Christmas when he tried to strangle her, just one of three seperate incidents of domestice violence.

His defence in turn argue that he was in a “deep and dark place”, and was suffering from a “severe depressive disorder’’ who had been seen by 13 professional people about his “anxieties, problems, difficulties and suicidal intentions’’.