Pair on trial for Antigua honeymoon murders

Two men will go on trial today accused of murdering a British honeymoon couple in Antigua.









Newly-weds Ben and Catherine Mullany, both 31, were shot in an apparent botched robbery at their luxury resort little more than a fortnight after their wedding day.



Avie Howell, 20 and Kaniel Martin, 23, were later charged with their murders.



The Mullanys, from Swansea, south Wales, had been staying at the Cocos Hotel in the south west of the Caribbean island when at least one gunman burst into their hotel chalet as they slept.



Fellow tourists heard Mrs Mullany, a qualified paediatrician from the village of Pontardawe, begging for help in the early hours of July 27, 2008.



They reported screams, gunshots and a female voice pleading: "Help me please" at about 5am.



But when police arrived at the scene that Sunday morning, Mrs Mullany was dead - killed by a head wound after her assailant opened fire.



Her husband, a student physiotherapist from Ystalyfera, suffered massive brain haemorrhaging after a bullet entered his neck and travelled up through his skull.



He was rushed into intensive care at the local Holberton hospital, where doctors battled to save him.



The former South Yorkshire Police officer, who had also served in the British Army, was later brought back home to Wales on a life-support machine with a fractured skull and broken leg.



But medics at Morriston Hospital in Swansea were unable to save him and he was pronounced dead a week after the shooting.



He and his wife were buried in the grounds of the same church where they had married about a month earlier.



The couple had been due to return home from their two-week honeymoon just a day after they were attacked.



Howell and Martin were arrested after British detectives were sent to Antigua to assist local officers with their investigation.



At the time of the murders, local media reported a spree of shootings on the holiday island, with at least two other people attacked by masked gunmen.



However, as the first "visitor homicide" in more than 10 years, it sent shock waves through the local community.



Hotel owners tightened security at resorts across the island in the wake of the attack and security officers stood guard at the Cocos resort.



A popular getaway for newly-weds, the hillside hotel is located between two white sand beaches and is billed as an "exclusive romantic boutique hotel".



Its 26 cottages - which each feature a private balcony - are set in expansive gardens overlooking the sea and apparently offer "true paradise with views, beauty and nature in all directions".



Back in 2008, a room cost up to £330 a night.



Now, nearly three years after the killings and following a series of judicial setbacks, Howell, of Golden Grove, Antigua, and Martin, of Tindale Road, will stand trial just 10 miles away at the island's High Court.



As well as the Mullanys, the pair are also accused of murdering Woneta Anderson Walker.



The 43-year-old shopkeeper was shot dead in her home during what police believe was a violent robbery on August 8, 2008.



Howell and Martin will face another two counts of murder at a separate trial to be heard at a later date. These relate to the deaths of mechanic Tony Louisa, 46, on June 18, 2008 and student Rafique Kareem Harris, 24, on July 12, of the same year.



While Mr Louisa, a Syrian national, was shot in the head after confronting burglars at his home, Mr Harris was found dead about 50 metres away from his aunt's residence on the island. Police believe he was killed during a robbery.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable