'Technical difficulties' places Magherafelt man's trial in limbo

Fred McClenaghan
Fred McClenaghan

The trial of Magherafelt man Fred McClenaghan for the murder of his former partner Marion Millican was placed in limbo today (Tuesday) because of "technical difficulties."

And trial judge Mr Justice Horner, who asked the jury to return tomorrow (Wednesday), told them that he could not promise those issues would be resolved by then.

The Belfast Crown Court judge thanked 12 jury members and several reserve jurors for their attendance and expressed the hope that the trial may start later this week.

The jury were told that McClenagnan, from Broad Street in Magherafelt, had gone to the Portstewart launderette where Mrs Millcan worked in March 2011, armed with shotgun.

When he left the premises, Mrs Millcan was lying face-down on the ground with a fatal shotgun wound to the chest. Prosecutor Richard Weir QC said that the estranged couple had been in a relationship up until around Christmas 2010, when Mrs Millcan ended it - and McClenaghan "was not happy about that."

He was later arrested in the Kilrea area, where he had gone and spoken to a woman, telling her about the shooting.

The court also heard that following interviews with police, he was susequently charged with murder.