48-year-old charged with Marion’s murder

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MURDER victim Marion Millican was buried on Tuesday at a lunchtime funeral service in Coleraine.

The 51-year-old grandmum and mother of four was gunned down as she ate her lunch in the laundrette she worked in on Friday afternoon.

The popular Coleraine woman died from a single gunshot.

The gunman made off from the scene in a yellow Renault Clio and travelled in the direction of Ballymoney. He was later apprehended by police in the Kilrea area.

Last night detectives charged a 48-year-old man with her murder.

He will appear at Antrim Magistrrates Court this morning.

Mrs Millican’s funeral service will take place from her home at 45 James Street at 1pm with burial afterwards at Coleraine cemetery.

The Millican family - including her husband Ken and children Aaron, Suzanne, Steven and Janice - are still coming to terms with the loss of a woman described as loving, kind and “a fantastic person”.

Her family’s heartbreaking death notice read: “God called your name so softly that only you could hear, and no one heard the footsteps of the Angels drawing near.

“It broke our hearts to lose you but you did not go alone, for part of us went with you, the day God called you home.”

Another notice from close relatives said: “No farewells were spoken, no time to say goodbye, you were gone before we knew, and only God knows why.”

Flowers and messages of condolence now adorn the laundrette where she worked.

One floral tribute, left outside the laundrette, read: “My dear friend Marion, I will never forget you. God bless, Pamela.”

Another said: “You always had a smile. You helped everyone. But there was no-one there to help you. God bless.”

Her boss and friend, laundrette owner Michael Moss, secretary-manager of Portstewart Golf Club, described Marion’s murder as “desperate and shocking”.

“She was just a gem, I cannot speak highly enough of her.

“She was a fantastic person, everything you could want from a work colleague and friend - reliable, honest, dependable.

“She always had a smile on her face, nothing was ever any bother to her.

“With Marion it was always a case of the glass being half-full. She was so bright and capable, a great girl who always had a smile on her face.

“A more sweeter person one could never wish to meet.”

Michael said that his heartfelt sympathies went out to the entire Millican family circle.

“I’m so sorry for Ken, they are a lovely family with four great kids and a little grandchild.

“It’s such a tragedy Marion was due to babysit for her son Aaron and Julie on Saturday night.”

Michael added that Marion had worked for him for over 15 years and was loved by everyone.

Rev John Cunningham of St Patrick’s Church of Ireland in Ballymoney performed the wedding service for the victim’s daughter six years ago and says Marion was “very highly regarded” in the area.

Although the Rev Cunningham has not been directly involved with the family in recent times, he said “everyone is of a singular opinion” about Marion.

“Everyone speaks so, so very highly of her.

“Very often when someone dies people will speak highly of them, and very often when people die in tragic circumstances people will speak highly of them, but everyone is of a singular opinion that she really was one in a million,” said the Rev Cunningham.

“Marion’s family are distraught, as anyone would be under the circumstances,” he added.