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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Recruitment Genius: Digital Communications Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 6-month part-time contract (24 hours a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Purchasers

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Broker

£12000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Vehicle Broker is req...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Data Capture / Telesales

£12000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific