Wales

Honeymoon murder couple were 'closest of friends'

Ben and Catherine Mullany
Image caption Ben and Catherine Mullany were on the final day of their honeymoon when they were shot

A honeymoon couple from Wales who were murdered on their honeymoon in the Caribbean were the "closest of friends", a court heard.

Ben and Catherine Mullany, both 31, from Pontardawe, Swansea Valley, died after being shot in July 2008.

Mrs Mullany's brother Richard Bowen told Antigua's High Court that the couple "did everything together".

Avie Howell, 20, and Kaniel Martin, 23, deny killing the couple and local shopkeeper, Woneta Anderson, 43.

Mrs Mullany, a doctor, died instantly while her husband, a former South Yorkshire police officer who had also served in the British Army, was later transported back to Britain for treatment.

He was pronounced dead a week later at Morriston Hospital, Swansea.

Mr Bowen travelled to Antigua in 2008 to identify his sister's body after she had been shot dead.

The court heard while he was out there, he also visited Mr Mullany in hospital who was on a life support machine.

"Ben was one of my closest friends," said Mr Bowen, who looked directly at the defendants from witness box.

"Whenever we did anything, Ben was always there, usually with my sister."

The court had earlier been told by a security guard the gate to a Caribbean resort was not padlocked at the time the Mullanys were murdered.

Brinsley Barrie said it was his job to close the gate at night but it did not lock properly and there was just a bolt and a "piece of iron."

Jurors were told Mr Barrie was in the reception area when Mr Martin appeared at the front desk "frightened" and "stammering".

He made his way up the hill to cottage 15 where he came across the murder scene, jurors heard.

Jurors also heard from Ronny Christopher who said a gun had been stolen from his home a couple a months before the shooting of the Mullanys and Woneta Anderson.

The prosecution claim the trio was shot with the same gun.

The trial continues.

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