Michael O’Leary murder accused ‘moved body with forklift’

Michael O'LearyImage copyright
Dyfed-Powys Police

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Michael O’Leary was reported missing after failing to return home from work

A man who discovered his wife was having an affair shot her lover dead and used a forklift to move his body before burning it, a court has heard.

Andrew Jones, 53, is accused of murdering Michael O’Leary after finding messages between him and his wife.

On the first of his trial on Monday, Swansea Crown Court heard Mr Jones had used his wife’s secret phone to “lure” Mr O’Leary to his death.

Mr Jones, of Bronwydd Road, Carmarthen, denies murder.

The court previously heard Mr O’Leary, from Nantgaredig in Carmarthenshire, was reported missing after he failed to return home from work.

His disappearance sparked a major police search, but his body has never been found.

Mr O’Leary had started having an affair with the defendant’s wife Rhiannon – who went to the same gym as him – sometime in 2019, the court heard on Monday.

Mr Jones is alleged to have sent text messages from his wife’s phone which “lured” Mr O’Leary to Cincoed Farm, near Carmarthen, on 27 January.

‘Firearms found’

On Tuesday, the prosecution told the jury it was their case that Mr Jones had shot Mr O’Leary at the farm before moving his body with a forklift vehicle and burning it.

Williams Hughes, prosecuting, said two firearm certificates were seized from Mr Jones’s Audi A6 car, and eight firearms were found at his home at Bronwydd Road.

Police had found bullets and empty shell casings at Cincoed Farm, and Mr Hughes said these were fired by one of the guns found at Mr Jones’s home.

The jury was shown a photograph of a forklift vehicle parked in a shed at the farm.

Mr Hughes said DNA analysis showed blood found on the blades of the vehicle came from Mr O’Leary.

The court heard Mr O’Leary’s DNA was also found on clothing at Mr Jones’s home.

In addition, bloodstains were found on a pair of jeans and trainers Mr Jones was wearing when he was arrested, and on a green rugby shirt found in a washing basket at his home.

“Given those findings, you may think it’s a reasonable inference to draw that Mike O’Leary was shot and killed with the rifle… and the forklift was used in some way to move his body,” Mr Hughes said.

Burnt bones

The prosecutor added it was “reasonable to conclude” Mr O’Leary’s body was transported from Cincoed Farm to his home in Carmarthen in his Audi A6.

Mr Hughes told the jury an area in the yard of Mr Jones’s property was captured on CCTV after he returned home, “with, we say, Mike O’Leary’s body within the vehicle”.

The prosecutor said fires were seen taking place place over “a number of days and hours”, and that some items recovered from the scene were “consistent with being burnt human bone”.

Andrew Jones denies murdering Michael O’Leary and the trial continues.

BBC News