Published: 12:02, 12 September 2019
| Updated: 17:29, 12 September 2019
An ex-squaddie accused of murdering a love rival has been cleared by a jury.
Jeffery Mills admitted gunning down Andrew Jenkins at Winchester House, on the Shepway estate, Maidstone, in March but said he acted in self-defence.
A jury at Maidstone Crown Court found Mills not guilty of murdering the pal he had cuckolded and also been cleared of an alternative charge of manslaughter.
But two hours after his acquittal he returned to the dock where he was jailed for six and a half years for possessing an illegal weapon, a silencer and ammunition.
Andrew Jenkins, 54, was angry after being told his wife Louise had been meeting her lover Mills, twice a week for sex.
The court heard how on the morning of March 17 he armed himself with a knife and drove to Mills' home in Cambridge Crescent to confront his rival.
Prosecutor Adam Feest QC said: "The defendant shot and killed Andrew Jenkins with a Glock 23 pistol with a single bullet.
"Mr Jenkins had discovered two weeks earlier that Mills had been having an affair with his wife.
"He took it upon himself to go to Mills' flat to confront him about what he had done to his wife."
Maidstone Crown Court heard the visit had followed several threats made by 6ft 18-stone Mr Jenkins.
Mills, 54, pleaded not guilty to murder or manslaughter, claiming he feared he was going to die and produced the gun from his sock drawer, pulling the trigger in self-defence.
The prosecutor told the jury that Mr Jenkins, from Rochester, was angry and had pushed past Mills' wife who had tried to stop him.
Members of Mr Jenkins' family stormed out of the court after the verdicts of not guilty to murder and manslaughter.
Judge Philip Statman had invited them to return later to hear the sentencing of Mills for the gun offences.
One shouted: "What's the point? There is no one to speak for him. He's dead."
Mills' defence barrister Gillian Hunter Jones QC told Maidstone Crown Court: "He is horrified by what he has done and will live with the fact he has killed a man and that is something that is never going to go away."
Judge Philip Statman told Mills: "You believed that Mr Jenkins was going to seek you out to kill you and your family as a result of finding out about the affair his wife had with you."
He added Mills should have sought the help of the police instead of talking the law into his own hands.
Det Ch Insp Chris Greenstreet, of the Major Crime Unit said: "Mills shot Mr Jenkins once, before the victim collapsed a short distance outside the flat having sustained fatal injuries. He has refused to answer any questions about how he came to possess the prohibited Glock firearm. He stated he did not aim the weapon and had just fired it in the direction of his victim, who he said was attempting to enter his property.
"The reality is that anyone who gets involved with firearms is putting themselves and others in serious danger. Ultimately, we have a man who has shot dead a person who he once considered a friend. Tragically, two families will have to live with the consequences of that for the rest of their lives."
More by this authorPaul Hooper