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Crossbow killer deprived family of explanation into ‘horrific’ death – judge

Terence Whall, 39, was jailed for a minimum of 31 years for the killing of retired lecturer Gerald Corrigan.

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Gerald Corrigan (Family handout)

Gerald Corrigan (Family handout)

Gerald Corrigan (Family handout)

A crossbow killer deprived his victim’s family of any explanation for the “horrific death”, a judge has said as she jailed him for at least 31 years.

Terence Whall, 39, was sentenced to life imprisonment at Mold Crown Court on Friday for the murder of retired lecturer Gerald Corrigan, 74, who was shot as he adjusted a satellite dish outside his home in Anglesey, North Wales, in the early hours of Good Friday, April 19, last year.

Sentencing Whall, judge Mrs Justice Jefford said: “You have deprived Mr Corrigan’s family of any explanation for what was a horrific death in which Mr Corrigan was completely blameless.

“For your own reasons, you clearly had a plan to kill.”

Terence Whall court case
Terence Whall (North Wales Police)

A parallel fraud investigation by North Wales Police remains ongoing after claims that Mr Corrigan and his partner, Marie Bailey, handed over £250,000 to convicted fraudster Richard Wyn Lewis.

Mrs Justice Jefford said it was “speculation” to submit the murder was carried out to “obstruct the progress of fraud allegations” made by Mr Corrigan or that Whall, who was in debt, had been paid to kill.

Anna Pope, prosecuting, said there was evidence Mr Corrigan was about to report the alleged fraud to the police.

Speaking after the sentence, Detective Chief Inspector Brian Kearney said: “I continue to keep an open mind as to why Gerald was targeted but clearly… someone wanted Gerald Corrigan dead.

“This is clearly in the wider context that the victim, Gerald, was a source or potential source of grief to local criminality.”

Gerald Corrigan crossbow death
The remote Anglesey home of Gerald Corrigan (North Wales Police/PA)

During the trial, the court also heard Mr Lewis had grown cannabis in an outbuilding of Mr Corrigan’s property but had been told to remove the operation when the pensioner learned the scale of it.

Speaking in court from behind a screen, Mr Corrigan’s son Neale said through tears: “How can someone choose to use such a barbaric weapon on an old man?

“Did they really want to cause him a slow and painful death? Because that is what we witnessed and although God will ease the pain for us, we will never ever be able to forget that.”

Also speaking from behind a screen, Ms Bailey, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said: “It is a terrible inferno inside me every day, thinking of how Gerry was murdered and how he suffered.”

Ms Pope told the court that Whall, originally from east London, had hidden behind a wall outside the pensioner’s remote home and tampered with the satellite dish to lure him into the garden where he shot him.

Whall initially claimed he was at home in Bryngwran, Anglesey, on the night of the shooting but when the GPS data in his Land Rover Discovery was recovered, he said he was having a sexual encounter with friend Barry Williams in a nearby field.

Mr Williams denied the claims.

Whall was given a concurrent sentence of six years for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice for a plot to set fire to his Land Rover, which was discovered burned out in a disused quarry on June 3.

Gavin Jones, 36, was jailed for five years for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Jones’s brother, Darren Jones, 41, was sentenced to two years and 10 months for arson, and Martin Roberts, who turned 35 on the day of sentencing, was jailed for two years and four months for arson.

The two men had pleaded guilty on the fifth day of the trial to setting fire to the car, but the court heard that they believed it was part of an insurance scam.

PA