Thursday 10th April 2003
All content © New Journal Enterprises, 2003.

‘Concrete coffin’ case appeal fails
A jealous husband who left his wife in a “concrete coffin” more than 21 years ago has lost his bid for freedom. Bricklayer Pareick Folan’s appeal against his murder conviction at the Old Bailey jury in 2001 and a life sentence, was rejected by High Court judges.

Folan, 48, now a grandfather, of Bovington Close, Brookside Place, Archway, strangled mother-of-two Michelle Folan, 24 a fun-loving school cleaner, after they left the pub on October 16, 1981, the jury heard.
He had discovered divorce papers from her lawyer in the post that morning. Her body was disposed of in the foundations of a new building on which Folan was working at the site of the old Royal Northern Hospital in Holloway Road.

The next day, cement mixers moved in to cover the site in tons of concrete. The Old Bailey heard Mrs Folan’s anxious relatives reported her missing. But it was not until June 1999 that a murder hunt was launched.

Her remains were discovered by a digger truck driver working on excavating the site. A rope was tied around her neck and a plastic bag covered her head. Scotland Yard detectives under Chief Inspector Julian Headon were faced with one of their most complex and puzzling murder inquiries.

Detectives quizzed serial sex killers John Duffy – dubbed the ‘Railway Rapist’ – and his partner in crime David Mulcahy about the disappearance and death of Mrs Folan. The pair, both building workers from Hampstead, are currently serving life sentences for a string of murders and rape attacks in north London and the Home Counties.
Folan had become jealous of his wife’s association with the men and was angry at the time she spent on nights out. For year after year, he covered up the ghastly crime by acting normally.

In court he rejected any suggestion that he killed her. But he did admit that on many occasions he had been violent toward her.
The jury took just 90 minutes to convict.

Judge Brian Barker, QC, branded Folan cold and calculating.
“This was a deliberate and efficient killing. The disposal of the body required thought and insight,” he said.