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Man given 13 years for murdering mother-of-four in laundrette where she worked

Marion Millican (58) was taking her lunch break when Frederick McClenaghan (56) murdered her.

Marion Millican (right) and daughter
Marion Millican (right) and daughter
Image: PSNI

A 56-YEAR-OLD man has been sentenced to 13* years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend in 2011.

Marion Millican (58) was taking her lunch break when Frederick McClenaghan walked into the Derry laundrette where she worked and murdered her.

The mother of four had reunited with her husband of 34 years in the months before she was killed on 11 March 2011.

McClenaghan terrorised Millican and a colleague by threatening them with his shotgun and when Marion refused to go outside and speak to him he fired a shot into the floor to intimidate her.

Marion’s colleague managed to escape the laundrette but Marion died at the scene from gunshot wounds to her chest.

McClenaghan of Broad Street in Magherafelt has pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced today at Belfast Crown Court. He will serve a minimum of 13 years in prison before he can apply for parole.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, from PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch, said Frederick McClenaghan “is a very callous and dangerous man and the community is a safer place now that he is behind bars”.

Frederick McClenaghan inflicted further pain and suffering on the Millican family by subjecting them to a total of three trials after successfully appealing his unanimous murder conviction on two occasions. During the third trial in September this year – and after more than six years – he finally admitted his guilt.

“However, he has never given the Millican family the courtesy of an explanation as to why he killed Marion.

“Throughout 14 police interviews he maintained his right to silence and while this was his right, I believe he had a moral responsibility to explain his actions to Marion’s family.”

Marion’s husband Ken Millican said: “I can honestly say she was the love of my life..

I will never forget the day, Friday 11 March, when I found Marion lying on the floor of the laundrette. It will stay with me forever and to this day it gives me many sleepless nights, reliving the whole ordeal.

Marion’s daughter Suzanne Davis added: “No words can describe how much I miss my Mum, the simplest things from everyday life like picking up the phone to text or chat about something trivial. Walking into our family home and her not being there.

Every milestone is a hurdle to cross, like birthdays, wedding, Christmas especially as it was her favourite time for family and friends.

“We have to live with the fact that my Mum was brutally murdered at the hands of Fred McClenaghan in her place of work, where she should have been safe.

“She died terrified and very alone, knowing we couldn’t stop this from happening and never getting to say our goodbyes will haunt me forever.”

*Clarification: The PSNI initially said that a sentence of 16 years had been handed down. The police force later sent a correction. 

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