Retired lecturer, 74, 'was shot with crossbow by killer hiding outside house'
A retired lecturer was shot by a crossbow bolt at his remote Welsh home by a killer hiding behind a garden wall, a court heard today.
Gerald Corrigan died in hospital weeks after being shot at about 12.35am on 19 April last year at his Holyhead home, in what the prosecution at Mold Crown Court today described as a planned killing.
Sports therapist Terence Whall, 39, denies murdering the 74-year-old.
Peter Rouch QC, prosecuting, said Mr Corrigan was adjusting his satellite dish, which was at ground level in the front garden, after its signal was interrupted.
He said: “When he left his home to look at the Sky dish, there was someone waiting outside, in the dark, armed with a high-powered crossbow.
“A crossbow, members of the jury, is a silent, quick and deadly weapon.
“The person waiting, probably hiding behind a wall, fired a crossbow bolt at Gerald Corrigan.”
Mr Corrigan thought he had been electrocuted at first, and went back into the house to shout for his partner, Marie Bailey, 64, who was in bed.
When paramedic Richard Alwyn Roberts arrived he found the garden gate was open and a crossbow bolt, covered in blood, was lying on the grass.
Mr Corrigan died in hospital on 11 May as a result of multiple organ failure caused by the injury.
The court also heard that a Land Rover Discovery, which belonged to Whall’s partner Emma Roberts, was found burnt out on June 3, two weeks after Whall was questioned by police about possessing a crossbow.
The jury was told Whall had owned two crossbows but Whall has said he sold one to a stranger earlier in 2019 and that one he bought in April did not arrive until after Mr Corrigan was shot.
The GPS in the car was destroyed by the fire but information retained by Jaguar Land Rover showed that on the night of 17 April it had travelled to the driveway of Mr Corrigan’s home and then to nearby Porthdafach beach, in what Mr Rouch alleged was a “reconnaissance” before the killing.
On the night of Mr Corrigan’s death, it was driven from Whall’s home to Porthdafach beach, where it remained for an hour and a half until 12.42am, about 12 minutes after Mr Corrigan was shot, the court heard, and the car’s system showed the boot was opened and closed when the car arrived and before it left.
Mr Rouch alleged Whall had walked from the beach to Mr Corrigan’s home, Gof Du.
“Once at Gof Du he prepared himself to shoot and kill Mr Corrigan,” he said.
“He interrupted the satellite signal, maybe by just interfering with the Sky dish, and, hiding behind the wall, waited for Mr Corrigan to exit his house.
“When he did so, he callously shot him.”
Whall also stands accused of perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to commit arson alongside Darren Jones, 41, Martin Roberts, 34, and Gavin Jones, 36.
The four are accused of setting fire to a Land Rover Discovery on 3 June and all deny the charges.
They also deny conspiracy to commit arson and Roberts and Jones deny a separate charge of arson.
Mr Corrigan had a keen interest in nature and worked as a lecturer in photography and video in Lancashire before he retired to Anglesey more than 20 years ago.
After his funeral, Marie Bailey said: “He was my best friend and my soulmate. All the time we have been together I have been proud to walk at his side and he stood beside me, always.”
In May Mr Corrigan’s death prompted the then-MP for Ynys Mon, Labour’s Albert Owen, to ask then-prime minister Theresa May if she would review the law on crossbows.
Mrs May said in Parliament that the then-home secretary Sajid Javid had heard his comments.
The trial continues.