Belfast Telegraph

No remorse from Marion Millican's killer, court hearing told

By Chris Kilpatrick

The spurned lover who shot dead a mother-of-four lover has shown no remorse for her murder, a court has been told.

Fred McClenaghan (52) was convicted last month and jailed for life for murdering 51-year-old Marion Millican after she ended their relationship.

The father-of-two, from Broad Street, Magherafelt, showed little emotion throughout a tariff hearing at Antrim Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, to determine the minimum length of his sentence.

In the public gallery just behind sat Mrs Millican's family and friends, including her daughter Suzanne and husband Kenneth.

McClenaghan was found guilty of shooting his former girlfriend in the chest with a shotgun at the launderette where she worked in Portstewart on March 11, 2011.

McClenaghan had told a number of mental health experts and counsellors he wanted to kill himself and Mrs Millican.

She had cut off contact with McClenaghan three months before her murder and was working on rebuilding her marriage with her husband.

Prosecutor Neil Connor yesterday told Judge Mr Justice Treacy he should consider the minimum sentence to be at the upper end of the spectrum, starting at 15 to 16 years. He said the murder was "cold and calculated".

Despite McClenaghan's defence, telling the court he thinks about his former partner every day, Mr Connor said he still maintained he did not intentionally kill her. He said Mrs Millican was subjected to a "terrifying ordeal" and McClenaghan was "motivated by anger, resentment and jealousy".

A probabation report deemed McClenaghan to represent a "serious risk of harm to the public".

Mr Connor said McClenaghan had consistently portrayed himself as the victim of his circumstances. The barrister asked how McClenaghan could be truly remorseful when he continued to deny he set out to murder Mrs Millican.

McClenaghan had a history of domestic abuse against a previous partner and had attacked Mrs Millican on at least three occasions before murdering her. He previously said he had gone to the launderette to kill himself, with Mrs Millican accidentally shot during a struggle for the weapon.

Defence barrister John McCrudden QC said Mrs Millican was "decent" and "blameless".

He said his client expressed his "unreserved apology" to the family. Mr McCrudden said the care system as a whole had failed Mrs Millican: "This man was telling people in authority that he was scared what he was capable of." He added: "There was not the joined-up approach to this which was required." Mr McCrudden said that "for some reason he repeatedly fell between the stools". McClenaghan will be sentenced next week.

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