A husband has gone on trial accused of murdering his wife’s lover in a “carefully planned” killing after discovering their affair.
Andrew Jones is charged with the murder of missing Carmarthenshire 55-year-old Michael O’Leary.
Mr O’Leary was reported missing on the evening of January 27 after he failed to return to his Nantgaredig home from work and his whereabouts remain unknown.
William Hughes, opening the case for the prosecution at Swansea Crown Court, told the jury the alleged murder had been planned carefully with the defendant also 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”.
The court heard Mr O’Leary’s family reported him missing after his wife and three sons received a text message, apparently sent by his mobile telephone, which read: “I’m so sorry x”.
On March 14 this year a piece of human tissue of a small intestine was discovered inside a rusty oil barrel being decanted at Jones’ address by police during a search of the property. It matched the DNA profile of Mr O’Leary.
Mr Hughes said the defendant’s wife, Rhiannon Jones, had been having an affair with Mr O’Leary, which Jones became aware of in September 2019 when he discovered messages on her iPad.
He confronted his wife about it and she told him the affair had ended as Mr O’Leary did not want to leave his wife.
Some of the messages between Mr O’Leary and Mrs Jones were “intimate and graphic in content,” the court heard.
The court heard that on the morning of January 27 Mr O’Leary and Mrs Jones exchanged messages on their ‘secret phones’ via WhatsApp between 9.21am and 11.39am.
Prosecutor Mr Hughes said it was thought the defendant took possession of his wife’s secret telephone between 11.33am and 11.45am to contact Mr O’Leary.
It saw Jones send messages from the phone to Mr O’Leary which would lead him to his death, Mr Hughes said.
The prosecution said between 5.38pm and 5.50pm Mrs Jones’ secret phone, allegedly in the hands of her husband, connected in the Kingcoed Farm area in Cwmffwd where the prosecution allege Mr O’Leary came to his death.
While there a message was sent from the phone to Mr O’Leary with emojis. Automatic number plate recognition also revealed Jones was in the area at the time. Text messages were also sent between the two phones giving Mr O’Leary directions to the farm.
Jones, 52, of Bronwydd Road in Carmarthen, denies murder and his trial, expected to last up to four weeks, began on Monday.
The case, which is being heard by Mrs Justice Jefford, continues.
Recap the trial opening: