South East Wales

Mullany murder trial in Antigua enters its final stages

Ben and Catherine Mullany
Image caption Two men are accused of shooting and killing Ben and Catherine Mullany in a hotel chalet on Antigua

The trial of two men accused of murdering honeymoon couple Ben and Catherine Mullany is expected to enter its closing stages on Thursday.

Ben and Catherine Mullany, both from Pontardawe near Swansea, were shot in their hotel chalet on the Caribbean island of Antigua in 2008.

Avie Howel, 20, and Kaniel Martin, 23, both from the island, deny murder.

The jury is expected to be sent out to consider its verdict in a few days.

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

Mrs Mullany died instantly, while her husband, who was studying physiotherapy at the University of the West England in Bristol, was placed on a life-support machine.

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

They were buried in the grounds of the church they had married in just over a month previously.

90 witnesses

Around 90 witnesses have given evidence during the trial, every one of them called by the prosecution.

The first of the closing speeches is expected to be heard on Thursday.

The defence offered no evidence other than denials during the eight week trial.

The two defendants declined an opportunity to speak under oath.

BBC Wales reporter Roger Pinney, out in Antigua, said: "Kaniel Martin did though make a short unsworn statement from the dock.

"In it he said he had been drunk and high on drugs at the time Ben and Catherine Mullany were shot.

"The end of this trial is now just days away."

Since their deaths, friends and family of the Mullanys have worked to preserve their memory by setting up a charity.

The Mullany Fund offers financial assistance to those studying medicine as well as physiotherapy.

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