Shotgun killer’s care in prison ‘appropriate’

The Northern Ireland Prison Service provided “appropriate care” to killer Fred McClenaghan before his death, a watchdog has found.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:36 pm
Pacemaker Belfast  6/7/2012 
 Fred McClenaghan ,    who was found  guilty of  the Marion Millican murder ,  Marion , a mother of four originally from Coleraine, was shot dead at her workplace on 11 March 2011 in Portstewart
 Photo Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 6/7/2012 Fred McClenaghan , who was found guilty of the Marion Millican murder , Marion , a mother of four originally from Coleraine, was shot dead at her workplace on 11 March 2011 in Portstewart Photo Pacemaker Press

The 57-year-old died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on October 21 2018 after falling ill at Magilligan Prison.

Prisoner Ombudsman Dr Lesley Carroll investigated the circumstances and events leading up to his death, and found that appropriate care had been given to McClenaghan.

A port-mortem examination found that his death was caused by a ruptured aneurysm.

McClenaghan had collapsed in prison five days before his death.

An independent clinical review and expert opinion from a consultant neurosurgeon informed the ombudsman’s investigation that an earlier referral to hospital was unlikely to have resulted in a different outcome.

Dr Carroll made one recommendation, to introduce a policy or expand existing policy to provide guidance on the processes to be followed in the event of a sudden collapse.

This recommendation was described as having been accepted and a joint trust and prison service procedure for responding to a collapsed patient requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation in prisons was finalised in May 2020.

“I hope it is of some comfort to the family to know that Mr McClenaghan received an appropriate standard of care, that his friends were nearby when he collapsed and that it was possible for them to spend some time with him while he was in hospital,” Dr Carroll said.

“I offer my sincere condolences to Mr McClenaghan’s family on their sad loss and in the knowledge that the experience of loss can be long-lasting.

“I hope this report provides information to address some of the questions they raised and explains events leading up to Mr McClenaghan’s death.”

An inquest is expected to take place at Belfast Coroner’s Court later this year.

McClenaghan was jailed in 2017 for the murder of Marion Millican, 51, at a laundrette in Portstewart in March 2011.

Marion Millican died after she was shot in the chest with a double-barrelled shotgun brandished by her former partner.

At his trial McClenaghan, from Broad Street in Magherafelt, was told he would serve a minimum of 13 years in prison before he was considered eligible for release.

The judge said the 51-year-old mother of four’s death “will resonate with her family and friends for the rest of their lives”.

Mr Justice Colton said: “I recognise that the loss of Mrs Millican’s life cannot be measured by the length of a prison sentence.”