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Justice at last for family as wife-killer gets life

A South African who boasted he could kill his wife in Ireland and only get a few years for manslaughter was jailed for life yesterday.

Anton Mulder murdered Colleen Suzanne Mulder after telling a friend: "I am going to kill her. In this country it's easy. Five or six years jail and I'm still young when I'm out then."

Mulder, who is originally from Durban in South Africa, was found guilty yesterday after a re-trial at the Central Criminal Court of murdering his wife at their home in Co Meath before Christmas 2004.

The jury of 10 men and two women took three hours to find the 46-year-old, of Maelduin, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, guilty with a majority of 10 to two.

Mrs Mulder, of Bangor in Co Down, was found dead in an upstairs bedroom of the house they were renting on the morning of December 17, 2004. She had been strangled.

During the trial the court heard that Mulder had told a colleague it would be easy to kill his wife in Ireland as he would only get a few years for manslaughter.

Mulder had previously been found guilty of murder after a five-day trial in May 2006, but this verdict was later over turned by the Court of Criminal Appeal, which ordered a retrial after "inappropriate interaction" with the jury by Mrs Mulder's brother, Mr William Pollock.

Colleen Mulder had moved to South Africa with her family when she was seven years old. She met her husband in the mid 1980s and, shortly afterwards, they were married.

Mulder had been working as a traffic policeman but as the economic situation in South Africa worsened he was made redundant and followed his brother-in-law Mr Pollock back to Northern Ireland to find work. After several difficult years, during which the Mulders and their two small children moved backwards and forwards between South Africa and Northern Ireland, Mulder found work with Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Miscarriage

In July 2004, Mrs Mulder had a miscarriage and the marriage deteriorated. She became depressed and they started sleeping in separate bedrooms.

The couple's eldest son, Mr Clinton Mulder, said there were frequent rows and, although he had never seen his father hit his mother, "she was scared of him." Another son, Mr Kristopher Mulder, said his father frequently lashed out and had "destroyed the whole house."

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