Police caught a crossbow killer using tracking data from a stolen Land Rover after he shot a retired lecturer in the stomach with a high-powered bolt, a murder trial has hear.
Gerald Corrigan, 74, was shot as he adjusted his satellite dish at his remote farmhouse Gof Du, near Holyhead, Anglesey, on Good Friday last year.
Mr Corrigan never recovered from his horrific injuries and died three weeks later. Terence Whall, 39, has gone on trial at Mold Crown Court accused of his murder.
Gerald Corrigan (left) died when a crossbow bolt hit him while he was adjusting his satellite dish. Terence Whall (right) has denied his murder
Peter Rouch QC, for the prosecution, told the court that on the night Mr Corrigan was shot he’d watched TV in the living room after his 64-year-old partner Marie Bailey, whom he cared for, had gone to bed.
According to Sky data, sometime between 12.08am and 12.28am the signal on the satellite dish was ‘interrupted’.
Mr Corrigan went outside to investigate and while he was bent over the dish he felt a ‘terrible pain’ to his body and believed he’d been electrocuted, leaving his arm ‘bleeding and broken.’
But the injuries were caused by a high-powered crossbow, said Mr Rouch, probably fired by someone who ‘hiding behind a wall’ in an adjacent field.
The bolt from the crossbow had passed through Mr Corrigan’s body lacerating his spleen and penetrating his large intestine and stomach, causing damage to his gastric artery, also penetrating his liver, colon and diaphragm and entering the pericardium – the heart sac – causing bruising to his heart.
The bolt then passed through Mr Corrigan’s forearm before hitting the wall of the house.
Pictured: Martin Roberts , 34, who denies conspiring to pervert the course of justice, is led into Mold Crown Court today
Mr Corrigan ‘had no idea what happened to him’ but managed to go back inside the house and raise the alarm.
Paramedics were called to the house at 1am and one of them noticed that a gate to an adjoining field had been left open as when he went to close it he found a bloodied crossbow bolt on the grass, which he later handed to police.
Mr Corrigan was taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital in Bangor and underwent emergency surgery to remove his spleen and repair damage to his colon and stomach.
Darren Jones (left) and Gavin Jones (right) are both charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice
He was also given a massive blood transfusion and placed into an induced coma.
Due to the extent of his injuries he was later transferred to the Royal Stoke Hospital for further surgery.
By the end of April Mr Corrigan then developed sepsis and his kidneys were failing.
His condition continued to deteriorate while he remained in a coma and he died – on 11 May, 2018, from multi-organ failure.
Police later recovered further pieces of the crossbow bolt at Mr Corrigan’s address and launched an investigation into his death. Mr Rouch said the case against Whall was like a ‘jigsaw puzzle’.
Police enquiries with a company called Outdoorhobbies Ltd, the UK’s largest supplier of crossbows, revealed that Whall has purchased a Excalibur Micro 355 crossbow from them in April 2018.
The crossbow had been delivered to Whall after Mr Corrigan had been shot, so it couldn’t have been used in his killing.
But when Whall was interviewed by detectives he told them he’d owned another crossbow, which he’d then sold to another man for £180, an explanation ‘that could be looked at with a degree of scepticism’, said Mr Rouch.
He said that a Land Rover Discovery, owned by Whall’s partner was found burnt out in a disused quarry in Bangor on 3 June.
Whall told police the vehicle had been stolen but investigations into the car’s movements, recored by its Telematic system and sent to Jaguar Landrover, found it had been driven to Mr Corrigan’s house the day before he was shot.
Mr Rouch said that the purpose of the trip was to ‘scope out’ and carry out a ‘recce’ of the house and the surroundings.
The Land Rover was also driven to the house on the night of the shooting, he said, with CCTV cameras also picking up its movements.
Telematics data revealed the boot had been open and closed during this time, which, Mr Rouch said, indicated the crossbow used in the killing being placed inside the car.
Information from mobile phone masts also connected Whall’s iPhone to the Porthdafarch Beach area, near to Mr Corrigan’s home.
Mr Rouch said: ‘We say that Terrence Whall drove to the beach in the Land Rover Discovery, with his crossbow in the boot.
‘Having taken it out, he walked the coastal path to Gof Du. Once at Gof Du he prepared himself to shoot and kill Gerald Corrigan.
‘He interrupted the satellite signal, maybe by just interfering with the Sky dish, and, hiding behind the wall, waited for Gerald Corrigan to exit his house. When he did so, he callously shot him.’
Mr Rouch said that the police had also discovered that Whall had purchased crossbow bolts on Amazon – two months after claiming to have sold his first crossbow – which were exactly the same type as the one that killed Mr Corrigan.
Whall, of Garddefa, Bryngwran, Anglesey, and co-defendants Darren Jones, 41, his brother Gavin Jones, 36, and Martin Roberts , 34, also deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
All four men are accused accused of conspiring to set fire to the Land Rover Discovery that was found burnt out following Mr Corrigan’s murder while Roberts and Darren Jones are charged with arson. They deny these charges.