Man sentenced for murdering girlfriend with sawn off shotgun in Holloway
- Credit: Archant
Judge rejected his claims that Leeann Foley was shot in his botched suicide attempt
A jealous killer who murdered his lover with a sawn-off shotgun then tried to claim it was a botched suicide attempt was jailed for at least 24 and-a-half years.
Richard Conroy, 39, blasted 32-year-old accountant Leanne Foley to the head and chest because she went on a night out with another man.
He fled the flat in Loraine Road, Holloway, with the murder weapon stashed in a holdall along with a set of knuckle dusters.
Conroy turned himself into the police an hour later sobbing: ‘Take me away, I’ve killed her, I shot her twice in the face.’
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Just weeks before he had been released on licence for a violent robbery in which a shop keep was stabbed in the head in Roman Way, Holloway, in 2010.
Inner London Crown Court heard how the couple often had violent arguments, with Conroy claiming Ms Foley had anger management issues.
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Both Conroy, who was unemployed, and Ms Foley, who worked for a defence company in Fulham, regularly abused alcohol and cocaine.
On the night before her death Ms Foley, originally from Cork, Ireland, said she had been staying with a girlfriend but Conroy later found out she had been with a male friend.
When she returned to the flat the couple shared at 6.30am the next morning, Conroy claimed that former Highbury Fields pupil Ms Foley wanted to “carry on getting on it” and an argument broke out.
He claimed that after half-an-hour of arguing he decided to end his own life.
“I thought: ‘I can’t win’, that’s when I ran downstairs and grabbed the gun,” he said.
“I was planning on blowing my head off – she grabbed the gun and that’s when it went off.”
Conroy admitted he must have cocked the gun a second time as Ms Foley died of two gunshot wounds, but he could not remember doing so.
Judge Chapple rejected his account, saying: “I’m sure that both shots were fired deliberately at Ms Foley with murderous intention.”
Conroy had earlier admitted murder, possession of a shotgun and possession of a knuckleduster.
He was sentenced to a minimum of 24-and-a-half years behind bars.