A husband is accused of murdering his wife’s lover and using a forklift to carry his body to a bonfire, a court has heard.
Andrew Jones, 52, had lured father-of-three Mike O’Leary, 55, to Cyncoed Farm, near Nantgaredig, Carmarthenshire, by messaging him from his wife Rhianon’s phone. He then shot him dead using a .22 Colt rifle and burned his body in a series of ‘intense’ fires at his home, Swansea Crown Court was told. He is then accused of dumping Mr O’Leary’s car by a river in the hopes that his death would look like suicide, and fled the area by bike.
The victim was reported missing by his family on the evening of January 27, after they received a message from his phone reading: ‘I’m sorry x’. Prosecuting, William Hughes QC told the jury the alleged murder had been planned carefully with the defendant taking steps to ‘cover up or destroy evidence of the crime, in particular Mr O’Leary’s body, in an attempt to hinder the police investigation’.
He added: ‘This was a carefully planned and well though-out murder far from an accident. He had murder very much in mind. When Mike arrived he had the same intent to kill him when he shot him – this is no tragic accident.’ The court heard a search of Jones’ home had revealed a collection of eight guns, including the .22 Colt rifle. Officers also found traces of Mr O’Leary’s blood on Jones’ clothing items, a burnt human bone and ‘possibly scorched’ piece of human tissue, jurors were told.
Mr Hughes said Jones had used a forklift to move the victim’s body, after officers also found blood-staining’s on the machine’s blades. He told the court that Mr O’Leary’s body was burned ‘over several days’ in a series of ‘intense’ fires. He went on: ‘There was an affair between Michael O’Leary and Rhianon Jones. They attended the same gym and at some stage during 2019 they began an extra marital relationship. ‘Andrew Jones became aware of the affair in 2019 having read some messages on his wife’s iPad. Mr Hughes said the messages between Mr O’Leary and Mrs Jones were “intimate and graphic in content”.’ Jones, of Bronwydd, Carmarthen, denies murdering Mr O’Leary and said he instead died in an accident after he confronted him about the affair.
Ms Jones and Mr O’Leary both attended the same gym
(Picture: Wales News Service)
He claims he had wanted to threaten Mr O’Leary with the gun and fired ‘two or three shots into the ground with the intention of frightening him’, the court heard. Jurors were told there was then a ‘scuffle’ between them, which resulted in Mr O’Leary being shot. Jones said he didn’t know who caused the gun to go off, but ‘if he did cause it, he did so accidentally’. Jones admitted moving the body and the car and sending the text messages to Mr O’Leary’s family. The trial continues.