Belfast Telegraph

Marion Millican's family facing anguish of retrial after former lover's conviction for murder is quashed

By Chris Kilpatrick

The family of a mother-of-four must endure the agony of another trial after her former partner's conviction for murder was quashed.

Marion Millican (51) was shot in the chest at the laundrette where she worked in Portstewart, Co Londonderry, in March 2011.

Her killer used an antique double-barrelled shotgun in the daylight attack, close to the town's Promenade.

Ms Millican was eating her lunch at the back of the premises when her killer struck.

The gunman then ran to a car and sped off.

After the alarm was raised Ms Millican's husband Ken ran to the scene and cradled her in his arms.

In September 2012 Fred McClenaghan (right), formerly of Broad Street, Magherafelt, was convicted of her murder.

He was sentenced to serve at least 16 years in prison. The victim had been in a relationship with McClenaghan (51) which ended months before the killing.

Yesterday, McClenaghan's murder conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal.

No details regarding the circumstances for the decision can be made public.

Ms Millican's family were in the court to hear the verdict.

Afterwards, visibly upset by the ruling, they declined to comment at length about the prospect of enduring another trial.

Ms Millican's daughter Suzanne said: "We don't want to say much at this stage.

"It's a very difficult day."

At the time of the killing Ms Millican's boss at the Portstewart Laundry, Mike Moss, paid tribute to the victim.

He said: "She was killed in cold blood. We can't take this in.

"She was such a valued employee, a great girl, an institution in the town. We can't believe this has happened.

"Marion was with us 15 years and rarely missed a day.

"She always had a smile on her face, and she certainly didn't deserve this. Nobody does."

McClenaghan's retrial is set to begin in May.

STORY SO FAR

Marion Millican was shot dead at the laundrette where she worked in March 2011. The following year her former partner Fred McClenaghan was convicted of murdering her. That conviction was yesterday quashed following an appeal.

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