Michael Reader Biography — Wiki
Michael Reader is a ‘controlling’ and ‘abusive’ husband who murdered his estranged wife in a drive-by shooting after being ordered to pay a £10,000 divorce bill. Reader was today jailed for life. Reader blasted Marion Price with a shotgun as she sat in her car outside her home in Earls Barton, Northamptonshire.
A court heard he carried out the ‘cold, calculated murder’ because he ‘bitterly resented’ being told to pay his former partner £10,000 just a few days earlier.
Michael Reader Age
Michael Reader, of Booth Rise, Northampton, is 70 years old while his wife Marion Price was 63 years at the time of death.
Today Judge Adrienne Lucking QC described Michael Reader’s crime as a ‘cold-blooded execution’, while the 63-year-old victim’s son described him as a ‘vile monster’. Reader was told at Northampton Crown Court that he must serve a minimum of 31 years in prison following his conviction.
The judge also warned Reader that, given his age, and the seriousness of his crime, she could not guarantee he would not die in jail.
Judge Lucking told remorseless Reader his sentence reflected how he killed as ‘an act of revenge, for the financial consequences of the divorce and punishment for the fact that Marion had moved on with her life after an abusive marriage’.
To reduce his minimum prison term any further, in light of his advanced years ‘would undermine the deterrent aspect of the sentence’, she told him. Also convicted of murder after a trial earlier this month was Reader’s best friend Stephen Welch, who was a ‘willing assistant’, the judge said.
What we know so far about Michael Reader
Before meeting Michael Reader on the internet in 2012, Ms. Price had been a happy person who enjoyed time with friends and family, the court heard. But ‘within a month’ of marrying that same year, she confided in a work colleague she had ‘made a mistake’, the judge had said.
In a victim personal statement read by prosecutor Mary Loram QC ahead of sentencing, Ms. Price’s son Gary Price described his mother as ‘the most amazing, kind, bubbly, excitable, beautiful human being’, ‘always laughing, singing and dancing around the house, so full of joy’.
He added it was ‘desperately unfortunate’ that while seeking a new life, she had met ‘vile monster’ Reader, who ‘preyed on her good nature’.In 2017, Reader left Ms Price stranded in London because she had ’embarrassed him’ by daring to get up and dance at a Jersey Boys musical, alongside the rest of the West End audience, the trial had heard.
Ms. Price became depressed and lost confidence, eventually moving to live with her elderly mother in 2016.
The judge said: ‘You were bitter and resentful, in particular over money spent during the marriage.’
When Ms. Price told Reader she would no longer pay bills on the matrimonial home, he went to the home of his estranged wife’s partially-sighted and deaf 90-year-old mother and launched a frightening attack on his spouse, breaking her fingers.
Ms. Price was so badly shaken she left her job, issued divorce proceedings, leaving Reader ‘incensed’, the judge said.
‘You were jealous of her social life and became obsessed with her movements,’ added Judge Lucking.
A reader got a tracker off the internet in November 2018 and with Welch’s help, set-up and fitted the device to her car, then making trips under cover of darkness to replace the bug’s battery.
On December 15 last year, having plotted an escape route with Welch avoiding CCTV cameras, and sourcing a motorcycle and a shotgun, Reader ambushed his estranged wife in the car park of her home. ‘I am certain she saw her killer at the last moment because just before she was shot, her hand was raised to protect her head,’ said the judge.
‘You shot Marion Price through the window of her car – out of jealously and as a cold-blooded act of revenge for the financial costs of the divorce.’