Man guilty of murdering friend of 25 years who had been having affair with his wife
A jealous builder who lured his wife’s secret lover to a remote farm where he shot him dead in a carefully planned execution has been convicted of murder.
Andrew Jones, 53, discovered Michael O’Leary, 55, was having an affair with his wife Rhianon, 51, and set about planning the ultimate revenge.
After gunning him down in cold blood, Jones made the father-of-three’s disappearance look like suicide and then burnt his remains in a rusty oil drum – even holding a morbid funeral service for his friend of 25 years.
Jones, of Bronwydd Road, Carmarthen, denied murder but was convicted by a majority of 11-to-one by a jury at Swansea Crown Court after 13 hours and 25 minutes of deliberations.
He was remanded into custody and will be sentenced on a date to be fixed by Mrs Justice Jefford.
The court heard Mr O’Leary was murdered on the evening of January 27 this year after being lured with the promise of a “cwtch” – a cuddle – to Cyncoed Farm in Cwmffrwd, Carmarthenshire, to meet Mrs Jones.
Instead, he found her ruthless husband crouched behind a dustbin armed with a .22 Colt rifle who shot him dead after ignoring his pleas for mercy, begging him: “Please don’t do it, Jones.”
He then drove his victim’s Nissan Navara to a riverside car park where he sent messages purporting to be from Mr O’Leary to his wife and children, saying “I am so sorry x”, before cycling back to the farm.
Jones used a forklift truck to load Mr O’Leary’s body into his wife’s car and took it home to Camarthen where he destroyed it.
The site manager’s body has never been found and forensic scientists have only ever recovered a small piece of his intestine from the oil drum in a yard adjacent to his home.
Dyfed-Powys Police were alerted by Mr O’Leary’s worried family after receiving the text messages.
They launched a missing person inquiry and arrested the self-employed builder after he admitted luring his love rival to the farm.
The shooting was a culmination of a deteriorating relationship between the married couple as the increasingly paranoid father-of-three used his own teenage daughter to spy on her mother having learnt the affair was not over.
Jones denied murder and said his friend died after the gun – taken from his collection of legally held weapons – went off during a struggle.
He told the jury he took the “scariest” looking gun from his collection to “frighten” Mr O’Leary.
“I wanted him to get the message – stay away from us,” he said.
“I wanted to shame him, ‘You told my daughter you weren’t going to meet her any more, and here you are’. I wanted to scare him and shame him.”
He said Mr O’Leary “lunged” for the weapon and it went off as he tried to pull it away from him, causing a fatal injury.
“I was in a hell of a panic about the whole thing. It was such a shock when it happened. I really didn’t expect it at all,” he said.
Jones broke down in tears as he described his friendship with Mr O’Leary and added: “I have never pointed a firearm at anybody, empty or loaded, ever.”
Under cross-examination, William Hughes QC, prosecuting, said: “You took considered steps to lure him there under false pretences that he was going to meet Rhianon and when he did get there, far from being a scuffle you described, you in cold blood shot him dead.
“You carried out a carefully planned – and I used the word execute carefully – to execute a plan to kill Michael O’Leary, nothing in mind but to murder him.”
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