Belfast Telegraph

Marion Millican's evil killer McClenaghan has lost his power and we can all grieve now, says best friend

By Victoria Leonard

The best friend of Marion Millican has said the life sentence handed out to her killer will finally allow her grief-stricken family and friends to move on with their lives.

Pamela Henry said the sentencing of "evil monster" Fred McClenaghan meant that he has finally "lost his power".

Mrs Henry was working in the Portstewart laundrette with Mrs Millican when McClenaghan blasted her friend in the chest with a shotgun on March 11, 2011.

The 57-year-old said that she and the Millican family had been waiting anxiously in the courtroom and "burst into tears" as McClenaghan's sentence was handed down yesterday.

"It was very emotional - we were sitting very nervously to see what he would get," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I had always appeared via videolink during the trials, so it was the first time I had seen McClenaghan in six and a half years.

"I was sitting with her children and her husband and we burst into tears when we heard the sentence.

"No sentence can make up for what McClenaghan did to Marion.

"In an ideal world I would have wanted him to serve longer, but I'm happy enough. I think justice has been done and we can move on with our lives.

"McClenaghan will be an old man by the time he gets out, if he gets out."

Mrs Henry, who managed to escape from the laundrette where McClenaghan was holding her and Mrs Millican with a shotgun, said the life sentence will finally show McClenaghan that he has "lost his power".

"He was a real monster - really, really evil," she added.

"Marion was really outgoing, then she changed so much because of the way he treated her. She was anxious and I watched her shrivel before my eyes.

"I still suffer a lot of nightmares about that day, the way Fred walked in the door with a gun under his arm and in his temper. There was nothing we could do and Marion couldn't get out.

"After it happened I had to leave my job in the laundrette as I couldn't hack it after what happened there.

"No sentence can make up for what he did, as the judge said, but at least we can get peace to move on."

Mrs Henry paid tribute to the strength and courage of Mrs Millican's family throughout McClenaghan's three murder trials.

"They are a very close-knit family and they support each other - her daughter, three sons and husband," she said.

"They are very strong but I don't think any of us will ever get over it. It will always be with us.

"Hopefully this will help us draw a line under the trauma and focus on the positive memories of Marion."

Mrs Henry revealed she still visits her late friend's grave every week.

"She was a lovely girl and I will hold her in my heart forever," she added.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph