Man who enticed wife's lover to 'ambush' then shot him dead jailed for minimum of 30 years

Judge says killing was ‘clearly a planned ambush’

Judge Mrs Justice Jefford, sentencing Jones, said: “Michael O’Leary was 55 years old. He was a son, husband, father and a grandfather. “You had known him for over 25 years and described him as one of your best friends.

“Michael O’Leary and your wife began having an affair. You became aware – as did your daughter, who was deeply upset by it. “Although you claimed you were trying to move on your behaviour proved otherwise.

You were keeping track of her contact with Michael O’Leary. “You bought cameras, synced messages. “You involved your daughter.

I have no doubt during these months what you felt festered and reached a point you decided to get rid of Mr O’Leary. “You had your wife’s secret phone in your possession. The effectiveness you mimicked your wife evidenced the extent you had been monitoring the messages.

“I have no doubt in enticing him you intended to kill him. You went to the property at Cyncoed farm with a weapon loaded with ammunition. It was cold and dark.

“By your own admission you parked the car and a forklift truck to make sure he walked past a large bin you had hidden behind. “This was clearly a planned ambush. “I’m sure it was not pure chance that items you needed to remove Mr O’Leary’s body and create the illusion it was a suicide were available to you.

“You drove his car near to the river and wore his shoes and sent messages from his phone to his family to make them think he committed suicide. “Your suggestion you were trying to protect his family from his affair was nonsensical and hurtful to them. “You kept his secret phone not because of a lack of planning but because you wanted to know what was on it.

“You had a bike with you ready to cycle away. “In the early hours of January 29 you set about disposing of his body. You built up a pile of wooden pallets and put his body on top.

“You cleared up with an excavator and put what you thought was the remnants of the body in a skip. “As effective as this was, I’m not sure this plan was put in place before he was killed. But that does not detract from the impact of disposing of his body in this way.

“After Mr O’Leary’s death you said your acts were through panic but they were calm and collected and of cowardice. “Michael O’Leary did something wrong but he did not deserve to pay for that with his life. All accounts of him is of a man who lit up the room and played a central role in the lives of his family.

“Your family stands by you. You are more than fortunate in that. The impact of your actions in their lives has also been devastating.

They feel ostracised from the community from where they live.

“Your wife still talks about you as the love of her life and your children talk about you in glowing terms.”

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