Builder shot dead wife's secret lover then moved body with forklift, court told
A businessman used a forklift truck to move the body of his wife’s secret lover after shooting him dead on a remote farm, a court heard. Michael O’Leary’s blood was found by forensic scientists on an industrial vehicle a week after he had been allegedly shot dead by builder Andrew Jones. Jones, 53, is accused of luring the 55-year-old to his death after discovering his wife Rhianon, 51, was having an affair with him.
The father-of-three sent messages from his wife’s phone to Mr O’Leary arranging to meet for a “cwtch” at Cyncoed Farm, Cwmffrwd, Carmarthenshire, on January 27. After allegedly shooting him dead with a rifle, Jones is accused of disposing of the father-of-three’s body by burning it in an oil drum. Dyfed-Powys Police launched a missing person inquiry after Mr O’Leary failed to return to his home in Nantgaredig.
Jones was arrested on suspicion of murder after he had given a statement to detectives admitting he lured Mr O’Leary to the farm.
Swansea Crown Court heard forensic scientists went to the farm to collect evidence. Claire Morse, a forensic scientist, told the jury a forklift truck was found inside an outbuilding at the farm. She said the forks of the vehicle had been left partially underneath a power generator unit and because of the bloodstaining, the vehicle would have to have been in a different position before contact with Mr O’Leary’s blood.
Miss Morse told the jury: “With regards to the scene, the only thing of note was the bloodstaining on the forklift truck. “In my opinion, the presence of contact bloodstaining on the forks attributable to Mr O’Leary is what you would expect if this forklift has been in contact with a source of Mr O’Leary’s wet blood. “The presence of blood on part of the fork, which is underneath the generator, indicates the blood had not been deposited when the forklift was in the position it was found.”
Miss Morse explained the pattern of bloodstaining indicated contact with Mr O’Leary’s blood, rather than being caused by dripping.
“In my opinion, that is what would be expected if these forks had been in contact with an individual or an item that has been stained with Mr O’Leary’s wet blood,” she said. “The presence of the blood on the underside of the fork would suggest the fork has been lifted at some point. “In my opinion, the presence of bloodstaining is what could be expected if the forklift had been used to move or carry an individual or item that had been stained with Mr O’Leary’s wet blood.
“Again, in my opinion, the nature and distribution of the bloodstaining on that left fork could not be explained by Mr O’Leary dripping blood on it.” Two buttons were recovered from a gravel track at the farm and tests showed the presence of Mr O’Leary’s blood and DNA on them, which could indicate they were from clothing he was wearing. Also found at the farm was a “dirty and not lived in” static caravan, with cleaning products, including a sponge and a bowl of water, found inside.
The court heard charred human tissue – later shown to be part of Mr O’Leary’s intestine – was found at the bottom of a rusty oil drum at the defendant’s home in Carmarthen. A silver and red mountain bike was also recovered, which had contact bloodstains on belonging to Mr O’Leary. Prosecutors allege Jones used the bike to ride back to his farm having driven Mr O’Leary’s vehicle to a car park and abandoning it.
Mr O’Leary’s blood was also found on a pair of jeans discovered in Jones’s bedroom.
Jones, of Bronwydd Road, Carmarthen, denies murder.
The trial continues.
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