Moment jealous husband refuses to admit to murdering friend of 25 years who became his wife’s lover and burning his remains – before being jailed for 30 years despite no body ever being found
- Farmer Andrew Jones set a trap for Michael O’Leary, 55, in Carmarthenshire
- Used phone belonging to cheating wife Rhianon, 51, and pretended to be her
- He lured Mr O’Leary to Cyncoed Farm and shot him in the face with .22 Colt rifle
- Then used a digger to move body before burning it on funeral pyre of wood
- One of his interviews with police is aired in ITV’s No Body Recovered tonight
A new documentary is delving into the disappearance and murder of a man who was killed by his friend of 25-years after having an affair with the murderer’s wife.
ITV’s No Body Recovered, which airs tonight at 9pm, follows the police investigation into the disappearance of father-of-three Mike O’Leary, who vanished on his way home from work in January 2020.
It was later discovered that Mr O’Leary, 55, had been shot dead by his married lover’s husband, farmer Andrew Jones, in Carmarthenshire, but his body was never discovered.
In footage from the documentary, Jones, who set a trap for Mr O’Leary in Carmarthenshire, by using a ‘secret’ mobile phone belonging to his cheating wife Rhianon and pretending to be her, is seen saying ‘no comment’ when police question him over the murder.
Jones was found guilty in October of shooting his friend of 25-years Mr O’Leary dead in cold blood at Cyncoed Farm. He then used a digger to move his body before burning it on a funeral pyre of wooden pallets.
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ITV’s No Body Recovered, which airs tonight at 9pm, follows the police investigation into the disappearance of father-of-three Mike O’Leary (pictured), who vanished on his way home from work in January 2020
It was later discovered that Mr O’Leary, 55, had been shot dead by his married lover’s husband farmer Andrew Jones (pictured), in Carmarthenshire, but his body was never discovered
The documentary shows, Jones, who was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison for murder by a Swansea Crown Court judge, refusing to offer any information when questioned by police.
An officer asks: ‘My question to you Andrew, explain to me in as much detail as possible, your involvement in the disappearance and murder of Michael O’Leary.
‘No comment,’ replies a stone-faced Jones.
He’s then asked: ‘Have you got anything you can say which may assist in the recovery of the body of Mike O’Leary?’, to which he again replies: ‘No comment’.
Mr O’Leary’s disappearance in January 2020 sparked a major investigation by Dyfed-Powys police after his family received a text that was out of character and his abandoned truck was found by a river four miles from his home in Camarthen.
Jones used a ‘secret’ mobile phone belonging to his cheating wife Rhianon (pictured together), 51, and pretended to be her to lure Mr O’Leary to Cyncoed Farm for a ‘cwtch’ – Welsh for cuddle
In footage from the documentary, Jones (pictured) is seen saying ‘no comment’ when police question him over the murder
Mr O’Leary’s wife Sian received a message apparently from her husband saying: ‘I’m so sorry X’ in an attempt to make his disappearance look like suicide.
‘That message wasn’t from Dad. Being a very proud Welshman, he would never text us or speak to us in English, even though it’s just only three words, “I’m so sorry”, those were English words and it didn’t sit right with me,’ says Mr O’Leary’s son Wayne.
Jealous killer Andrew Jones’s failed attempts to cover his tracks after murdering his wife’s lover
Andrew Jones was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Michael O’Leary, 55 – his wife’s lover, in October.
Speaking at the sentencing, Mr O’Leary’s son Wayne slammed Jones as a ‘coward’ and a ‘monster’ who sent his family on a ‘wild goose chase’ thinking the father-of-three had killed himself.
Judge Mrs Justice Nerys Jefford said Jones planned the murder in a ‘calm, calculated and effective’ manner’.
Here is how Jones tried to avoid being caught:
Jones used a ‘secret’ mobile phone belonging to his cheating wife Rhianon, 51, and pretended to be her to lure Mr O’Leary to Cyncoed Farm for a ‘cwtch’ – Welsh for cuddle.
Instead Mr O’Leary came face-to-face with Jones brandishing a .22 Colt rifle.
Jones said he ‘wanted to scare’ Mr O’Leary by shooting two or three rounds into the floor.
He told the jury: ‘I didn’t want to shoot him dead. He said: “All right Jones”. I walked over and put the gun at my hip pointing it in the air.
‘He walked back and tripped backwards.
‘I took the opportunity to kick him in the face so he was semi-conscious.
‘When he came around, he lunged at me – the gun went off. He said “Ahh” and slumped.’
Jones then texted Mr O’Leary’s wife Sian saying: ‘I’m so sorry X’ in an attempt to make Mr O’Leary’s disappearance look like suicide.
Mr O’Leary’s silver Nissan Navara was found locked and abandoned near the River Towy in Carmarthen and police divers were called in to search for his body.
But Jones, of Bronwydd, Carmarthen, burned it to destroy any evidence.
Jones piled up 24 wooden pallets and used a digger to put Mr O’Leary’s body on top in the early hours of January 29 and set it ablaze in an oil drum ‘over several days’ in a series of ‘intense’ fires.
Jones admitted to using electric fans to speed up the burning. A burned piece of Mr O’Leary’s intestine was recovered from the drum but his body has never been recovered.
He adds: ‘The fact it wasn’t a WhatsApp, it was a text message, those two things went hand in hand. Something wasn’t right from the offset.’
Suspicion quickly fell on local builder Jones after police discovered Mr O’Leary was having an affair with his wife Rhiannon.
Yet with no body emerging during their investigation, proving a murder case against him would require resourceful policing.
Chief Inspector Paul Jones, the police’s senior investigating officer, explains why Jones, a well-known local businessman, had the means to be the killer.
He says: ‘First of all he’s somebody with no previous convictions, never come to police attention, apart from he’s a very successful businessman.
‘But he’s a builder, he has access to machinery, access to ongoing building sites, building works, foundations, his capability to dispose of a body is I would say probably the most difficult one to investigate.’
With the last known sighting of Mr O’Leary at Jones’s derelict farm, the police team begin their searches of acres of land and numerous buildings, desperate for clues.
They eventually find some shirt buttons which after examination reveal a tiny trace of blood, invisible to the naked eye. DNA analysis on this blood proves it’s Mr O’Leary’s.
Jones then admits meeting Mr O’Leary on the night he went missing, and is the last person to have seen him.
Inspector Llyr Williams explains why time becomes an increasingly important factor in the investigation: ‘We could only hold Andrew for 96 hours.
‘The first bit of an investigation is obviously intense when you’ve got a collapsing time-frame, a pace custody clock.
‘A lot of staff members on the team were working on adrenaline having worked long hours to achieve the level of evidence we needed to secure a charge. I think the driving focus for everybody is to obtain justice for the family and get answers.’
Officers turn to local CCTV to see if it might reveal any further evidence pointing to Jones being the killer – and find footage of his truck being driven to the riverside.
Mobile phone data suggests Jones was driving. Footage from CCTV also shows a cyclist making the return journey a short time later, heading in the direction of the derelict farm.
Detectives are convinced it’s Jones on the bike, having ditched his murdered friend’s truck.
Paul Jones says: ‘We literally had minutes left on the custody clock when the call came through saying yes, charge with murder. So yeah, relief, but certainly it’s only the start of the enquiry.
‘A lot of people don’t understand that once you charge somebody that’s pretty much the beginning of it. We’ve got a huge amount of work to do.
‘We haven’t located Mike, we still haven’t tied up a lot of loose ends, we have a load of digital work to do, there’s just so much more to do.’
Yet as the case proceeds to trial through the court system, there is still no sign of Mike’s body.
Wayne O’Leary says: ‘We still don’t know what’s happened that evening. You know, Andrew’s story, he’s just been telling lies from the start. I don’t think we’ll ever find out.’
Jones was found guilty in October of shooting his friend of 25-years Mr O’Leary (pictured with his wife Sian) dead in cold blood at Cyncoed Farm. He then used a digger to move his body before burning it on a funeral pyre of wooden pallets
Farmer and builder Jones showed no emotion when the jury found him guilty of murder by a majority verdict of 11-1 after 13 hours and 25 minutes of deliberations in October.
Judge Mrs Justice Nerys Jefford said: ‘Michael O’Leary did something wrong. He had an affair with a wife of a man who had been his friend for many years but he did not deserve to pay for that with his life.
‘I have no doubt that you felt betrayed by your wife and a man who you had known for 25 years. You had made the decision to get rid of Mr O’Leary and enticed him to your farm where you carried out the killing.’
Judge Jefford said Jones planned the murder in a ‘calm, calculated and effective’ manner and, by getting rid of the body, deprived the O’Leary family of having a funeral for the much-loved husband, father and grandfather.
The judge said he would have to serve a minimum of 30 years before he could be considered for parole.
‘You are 53 years old and whatever minimum term I impose, it is likely you will spend most if not all of the rest of your natural life in custody,’ she said. ‘You still maintain your account of events and that can give them little comfort.’
No Body Recovered ITV 9pm tonight (Thu).
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