A crossbow killer who murdered a retired lecturer outside his remote Anglesey home has been jailed.
Sports therapist Terence Whall, 39, was convicted last week of killing Gerald Corrigan, 74, in April last year – though prosecutors said his motive remained unclear.
Whall, of Bryngwran, Anglesey, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 31 years behind bars at Mold Crown Court on Friday.
Mrs Justice Jefford, sentencing, said: “You have deprived Mr Corrigan’s family of any explanation for what was a horrific death in which Mr Corrigan was completely blameless.
“For your own reasons you clearly had a plan to kill.”
She added: “Your arrogant belief that you could get away with murder was misplaced.”
Speaking from behind a screen, Corrigan’s son Neale said through tears: “How can someone choose to use such a barbaric weapon on an old man?
“Did they really want to cause him a slow and painful death? Because that is what we witnessed and although God will ease the pain for us, we will never ever be able to forget that.”
The court heard how Corrigan and his partner, Marie Bailey, had given £250,000 to a man called Richard Wyn Lewis.
They had allowed him to grow cannabis on their property, too, though Corrigan became “very angry” when he discovered it was a large-scale farm, the court heard.
Prosecutor Peter Rouch QC told the jury during the trial that it had been alleged the money was part of a fraud carried out by Wyn Lewis, and he said that Whall and Wyn Lewis’ association “may be of significance”.
Corrigan was shot with a crossbow bolt while adjusting his satellite dish in the middle of the night. He told Bailey to “call Wyn” and she went to stay with him.
Detectives are now investigating a potential fraud against Corrigan, but the reason Whall killed Corrigan remains unclear.
Prosecutor Anna Pope said Whall was heavily in debt and there was no evidence of a connection between him and Corrigan.
The judge said it was speculation to say Whall was paid to carry out the murder, or that it happened because Corrigan was going to report fraud by Wyn Lewis to the police.
Bailey appealed last week for anyone with information about why he did it to come forward and said in court on Friday: “It is a terrible inferno inside me every day, thinking of how Gerry was murdered and how he suffered.”
Whall was found guilty of murder following a trial, and was found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in relation to an alleged plot to set fire to Whall’s Land Rover Discovery.
Whall was given six years to serve concurrently with his life sentence for that count.
An associate, Gavin Jones, was jailed for five years for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by plotting to set the Land Rover on fire.
The GPS from which was recovered and showed Whall had been in the area of Corrigan’s home on the night of the attack.
Whall had claimed he had been there for a discreet sexual encounter with another man and had withheld that information because it was private. The other man denied they were in a relationship.
Corrigan’s daughter Fiona said in statement: “Nothing can prepare you for a 7am telephone call on a bank holiday weekend to tell you your dad has been shot.”
Jones’s brother, Darren Jones, 41, was sentenced to two years and 10 months for arson, and Martin Roberts, who turned 35 on the day of sentencing, was jailed for two years and four months for arson.