Court told Portstewart murder accused was in a “violent mood”

Belfast Crown Court

A man who claims he accidentally killed his ex-girlfriend was described as a "violent madman" on the day of the shooting in 2011, a court has heard.

51 year old Marion Millican was shot in the chest while working at a laundrette in Portstewart.

52 year old Fred McClenaghan from Broad Street, Magherafelt, denies murder.

He admits killing his former partner, but says he did so accidentally during a botched suicide attempt.

Antrim Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, yesterday heard evidence from Ms Millicans friend and colleague Pamela Henry who was with her on the day of the incident.

Describing what happened on the day, Ms Henry said their ordeal began when she and Ms Millican heard someone at the door, and before she knew it, Mc Clenaghan was on top of the two of them.

She said Mr McClenaghan, who was armed with a shotgun, grabbed Mrs Millican by the arm and said "You're coming with me, we have to talk".

Mrs Henry said Mr McClenaghan was "in a violent mood, a madman, a man who was meaning business".

She said Ms Millican was trying to calm him down, but he wasn't having any of it.

Mrs Henry said at this point she had to get out and "flew to the toilet" and bolted the door, only for Mr McClenaghan to smash it open. He tried to snatch her mobile phone from her, she said.

He failed and in the confusion she managed to escape and run to a nearby shop where she stopped a couple who raised the alarm.

Under cross examination by defence counsel, Mrs Henry said she had been left traumatised and shocked by what had been a terrifying event.