A THUG has finally admitted what everyone had always known – that he murdered his former lover, blasting her to death with a 100-year-old shotgun in a jealous rage at her Co Derry launderette over six years ago.
Fred McClenaghan played the legal system like a fiddle, putting Mrs Millican’s family through years of hell by falsely claiming he went to her Portstewart launderette to kill himself in a bizarre suicide on March 11, 2011
But at Belfast Crown Court today, where his trial was into its second week, his defence team asked for the 55-year-old. of Broad Street, Magherafelt, asked for him to be re-arraigned on the single charge of murder and he pleaded guilty.
At his two previous trials, McClenaghan had only previously admitted to manslaughter.
Senior prosecutors have always rubbished McClenaghan’s claim said that what happened just an accident, that she grabbed the gun and it accidentally went off.
A QC said it was nothing other than “simply of murder”.
They rejected his guilty plea to her unlawful killing, entered during his second trial.
The jury found him guilty of murder but his legal team took his case to the Court of Appeal.
There they successfully argued that the trial judge Mr Justice Treacy had mis-directed the jury in his summing up and should have given the jury the option of convicting him of manslaughter as an alternative to murder.
The Court of Appeal agreed, quashed his murder conviction and sent him back for a third trial.
McClenaghan was carted back to Maghaberry prison to start his life sentence for murder.
He will be told next month by trial judge Mr Justice Colton how long he will spend behind bars before he can even apply for parole.