South West Wales

Medic tells of Ben and Catherine Mullany murder scene

A honeymoon couple were found lying in a bloody scene in a luxury resort in Antigua, a murder trial on the Caribbean island has heard.

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

A medical technician told how she treated Mr Mullany as he tried to communicate with emergency workers.

Avie Howell, 20, and Kaniel Martin, 23, deny murder. The case continues at Antigua's High Court.

Those battling to save Mr Mullany were never able to make out his words, jurors were told.

A student physiotherapist, he was pronounced dead a week after the attack.

Describing the scene which met those called out, emergency medical technician Loretta Ephraim told how she found Mrs Mullany lying lifeless on the floor, her husband in a similar position on the bed in their chalet. It was 6.15am.

"When we got in, I noticed blood and mosquito nets over the bed," she told the court.

"There was a male on the bed and there was a female lying down on the floor next to the bed.

"The female was lying very still, on the floor. Her eyes were open, wide open, but there were no movements coming from her."

She outlined how she had arrived at the hillside cottage to find armed officers and police standing guard.

Inside, she worked on Mr Mullany, attempting to place a brace around his neck and stem the bleeding from his head.

"While I was putting the bandage on... he tried to say something but I couldn't understand what he was saying," she said.

Trying to speak

A collar was placed around Mr Mullany's neck and he was placed on a board to support his back. He was taken to Holberton Hospital by ambulance.

Ms Ephraim said: "When we got into the ambulance he became very restless.

"We checked his blood pressure, how he was bleeding, his pulse, everything at the time was OK and then we left for the hospital.

"On our way to the hospital he was even more restless. He was trying to speak but we couldn't understand what he was trying to say so I spoke to him to see how much I could give him some comfort."

On arrival, he became much calmer, she said.

Earlier the court heard how the pair had been shot by the same gun which was later turned on a local shopkeeper, Woneta Anderson.

The 43-year-old was killed in an "almost identical" attack the next month, prosecutor Anthony Armstrong told jurors.

"All three victims were shot in the head. They were shot with a single bullet, no more, no less," Mr Armstrong said.

"All three victims were killed using the same firearm."

Concluding his opening statement, Mr Armstrong told jurors: "You should not be concerned about the consequences of your decision."

He urged them to rely on "simple old-fashioned common sense", adding: "I invite you to be fair, fearless and approach this case with due attention."

Mr Howell, of Golden Grove, Antigua, and Mr Martin, of Tindale Road, deny three counts of murder.

The case is due to last at least a month and members of Ben and Catherine Mullany's families are due to give evidence during the trial.

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