A pensioner has been found guilty of murdering his estranged wife in a cold-blooded drive-by shooting after he was ordered to pay her a £10,000 divorce settlement.
Money-obsessed Michael Reader, 70, blasted dead Marion Price, 63, with a shotgun as she sat in her car after he tracked her movements for months.
A court heard he carried out the "cold, calculated murder" after he "bitterly resented" being told to pay his former partner £10,000 just a few days earlier.
He gunned down Marion as he drove by her Vauxhall Corsa on his motorbike and shot her once through the window before she'd had chance to take off her seatbelt.
Marion's brother and son-in-law later discovered the gran-of-three's blood-soaked body slumped in the front seat of the car outside her home on December 15 last year.
Emergency services rushed to the scene, in the quaint village of Earls Barton, Northamptonshire, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Reader was accused of laying in wait and killing Marion because he did not want to part with his money following a bitter legal row over their finances.
School finance worker Marion had told pals she had been "scared of what Reader would do next" following the judge's ruling in court.
He was described as a "controlling husband" who was "obsessed with money" and planted a tracker on Marion's car after the pair separated in 2017.
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Reader had also previously threatened "If you leave me, I'll kill you" and was accused of attacking her with a mallet before he carried out the execution.
Reader went on trial accused of murder alongside best friend and alleged accomplice Stephen Welch, 61, at Northampton Crown Court.
On Thursday, December 3, a jury of seven men and five women unanimously found Reader guilty following an eight-week trial.
Reader kept his head bowed as he heard the verdict over videolink and is now likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.
The jury is yet to deliver a verdict on Welch, who is accused of helping Reader before and after the shooting.
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The court heard Reader, of Booth Rise in Northampton, travelled to Marion's home just days after he was due to pay her the £10,000 settlement from a bitter divorce.
Prosecutor Mary Loram QC said: "We will see this was an amount he would have bitterly resented. This was no amicable agreement.
"Michael Reader was a man obsessed with money and it was a theme of his separation from Marion Price that he did not want to part with it.
"In the absence that his was anything but a cold, calculated murder, Michael Reader would, at the very least, be someone the police wanted to speak to.
"He was a prime candidate for someone who would not only want to cause her harm, but kill her."
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On the day she was shot, Marion had been to visit her sister Helen and went shopping before going to visit their mother.
At 4.18pm Marion called daughter Toni before returning to her home on Packwood Crescent before she was killed at around 5pm.
The court heard Reader had lain in wait for Marion for 45 minutes after parking his motorbike up on a street one mile away.
It wasn't until three hours later that a neighbour noticed her car windows smashed and Marion's family rushed to the scene and found her body.
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 cleared for allegedly hitting Marion with a mallet – was later arrested at his home but denied seeing his former wife.
But a jury saw through his lies after hearing how he stalked his ex wife using a tracking device and gunshot residue was later found on his jacket, which was dumped in a river.
Detective Chief Inspector Joe Banfield, of Northamptonshire Police, said after the verdict: "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."
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