GUILTY: The face of a cold-blooded murderer

He's been convicted today

By Sam Wildman
Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 4:28 pm
Michael Reader.
Michael Reader.

A man who shot his ex-wife in cold blood after tracking her movements for months has been found guilty of murder.

Today (Thursday) at Northampton Crown Court a jury of seven men and five women unanimously convicted Michael Reader of killing Marion Price after an eight-week trial.

Finance worker Marion, 63, a loving grandmother, was found dead in her car in Packwood Crescent, Earls Barton, on December 15 last year.

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Reader, 70, kept his head bowed as he heard the verdict over videolink and is now likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

His best friend Stephen Welch, 61, who was accused of helping Reader before and after the shooting, was found guilty of murder by a majority verdict this afternoon.

Reader, of Booth Rise in Northampton, travelled to Marion's home just days after he was due to pay her a £10,000 settlement from a bitter divorce.

There, on his motorbike, he shot her through her car window before she had even taken off her seatbelt.

Marion's body was discovered slumped in the car three hours later after a neighbour noticed her windows were smashed.

Grey-haired Reader - who previously stood trial for allegedly hitting Marion with a mallet - was later arrested at his home and denied having seen her.

But a jury saw through his lies after hearing he stalked her for months by tracking her movements, was obsessed with money and had previously told her he would kill her if she left him.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Joe Banfield, said: “Michael Reader is a manipulative, controlling bully, who could not stand the fact that Marion Price had escaped his clutches, left him, and was starting to enjoy her life again.

“The campaign of abuse Reader imposed on Marion throughout their marriage caused her to live in almost constant fear. He continuously put her down, ridiculed her, used threats of violence and made her life hell while they were together.

“Reader was a man obsessed with control. When Marion bravely walked out on him, it was too much for him to take and he began tracking her movements. Finally, after being ordered to pay Marion £10,000 as a final divorce settlement, he took the decision to murder her at close range, in cold blood.

“This has been a very complex case to investigate with lots of evidence to work through and I am pleased to have it conclude with Reader likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars where he belongs.

“Finally, I would like to pay tribute to Marion’s family who have come to court every day, showing great courage, strength and resolve. I hope the fact that justice has been served is a small comfort to them and my thoughts will remain with them long into the future.”