McClenaghan pleads guilty to manslaughter of Marion Millican

Fred McClenaghan.  Photo Pacemaker Press
Fred McClenaghan. Photo Pacemaker Press
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A 52-year-old Magherafelt man today (Tuesday) pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of 51-year-old Marion Millican over three years ago.

Fred McClenaghan’s trial at Belfast Crown Court had to be adjourned for a time for the prosecution “to consider the plea”.

Marion Millican. Pic Pacemaker

Marion Millican. Pic Pacemaker

McClenaghan, from Broad Street, was due to go on trial for murdering the mother of four by shooting her with a shotgun as she sat having lunch with a friend in the Portstewart laundrette she had worked on March 11, 2011.

However, after being put “in charge” of the jury of eight women and four men, defence QC John McCrudden asked for McClenaghan to be rearraigned.

When the murder charge was put to him again, he replied: “Not guilty to murder, but guilty to manslaughter”.

Prosecution QC, Richard Weir, said that he would need a “little time” given McClenaghan’s plea as “there are certain matters that need to be looked at”.

Trial judge Mr Justice Treacy told the jury that adjournments of this nature were normal in cases, but it was hoped to re-start the case either shortly before or just after lunch.