Wales

Mullany Antigua murder trial: Insufficient proof claim

A jury has been told there is not enough evidence to convict one of the two men accused of killing a honeymoon couple in Antigua.

Ben and Catherine Mullany, from Swansea valley, were shot in their hotel chalet on the Caribbean island in 2008.

The defence lawyer for Avie Howell said there was no proof his client was anywhere near the hotel around the time of the killing.

Mr Howell, 20, and Kaniel Martin, 23, both deny murder.

Mr Mullany, a student physiotherapist, and Mrs Mullany, a doctor, were shot in the five-star Cocos Hotel on 27 July, 2008, just over two weeks after they were married.

Mrs Mullany died instantly and her husband was placed on a life-support machine.

He was flown back to Morriston Hospital in Swansea but died a week later.

Defence counsel Ralph Francis said the jury could not convict Mr Howell on the fact that Mr Martin, his close friend, was in that area.

Phone records show Mr Martin took a call at 5.06am (local time) in the Jolly Beach area, within a few hundred yards of where the couple's chalet.

But, in his closing speech, Mr Francis insisted there was a great deal of confusion in the evidence over who was where at different times.

He also questioned why a gun holster linked to the killings had not been found until a third search of Mr Howell's property.

'Deafening'

Previously, the prosecutor Anthony Armstrong had criticised the defendants' failure to give evidence in the trial.

Mr Armstrong described Mr Howell's silence as deafening, and said an unsworn statement by Kaniel Martin was lies.

Mobile phone evidence heard during the trial had put Mr Martin in the area of the Mullanys' hotel at the time of the shootings.

The defendant said he had gone there to use the beach.

The court has been told that DNA, ballistics and mobile phone evidence pointed to Mr Martin and Mr Howell who also deny killing a local woman, Wonita Anderson.

During the eight-week trial the jury has heard from about 90 witnesses, all called by the prosecution.

The defence offered no evidence other than denials.

The case was adjourned until Monday morning, when Kaniel Martin's lawyer will begin his closing speech.

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