South West Wales

Mullany murder trial: Judge to finish summing up

Ben and Catherine Mullany
Image caption Ben and Catherine Mullany were shot on honeymoon at their hotel chalet on Antigua in 2008

A judge is expected to finish summing up in the trial of two men accused of murdering Welsh honeymooners Ben and Catherine Mullany in Antigua.

Judge Richard Floyd will continue his address to the jury on the third anniversary of the Caribbean shootings.

Kaniel Martin, 23, and Avie Howell, 20, deny killing the couple, of Pontardawe, Swansea Valley, on 27 July, 2008.

The judge told jurors that although they must be weary after a long trial, they should stay focused.

He also urged them not to be swayed by public opinion.

The couple were shot in their resort cottage two weeks after they married.

Justice Floyd urged the jury of eight men and four women to stay alert and to keep an open mind as they consider the evidence in the two-month trial of the pair, who are also accused of murdering a local shopkeeper.

The jury will reconvene on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Mullany, a student physiotherapist, and his wife, a doctor working at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, died after being shot in the back of the head at the Cocos resort.

The court has heard Mrs Mullany died almost instantly and Mr Mullany a week later after he was flown back to Swansea on a life-support machine.

The following month Mr Martin and Mr Howell were charged with their murders and that of 43-year-old shopkeeper Woneta Anderson.

Before they were sent home, the jury was reminded of the testimony of one of a number of expert witnesses who said a bandana with Mr Howell's DNA was found at Mrs Anderson's shop.

'Clean character'

Recordings found on Mr Mullany's stolen Nokia phone were replayed, in which one of the voices identified himself as "Sample Dan" - an alias used by Mr Martin.

But the judge also reminded of the jury that Mr Martin was described as "a man of clean character" and "a good father".

Although Mr Martin had admitted to lying to police at first about being near the hotel, his defence team say this was only "because he was scared," the jury was told.

Justice Floyd said: "Lies alone cannot prove the case against Mr Martin. You must consider all of the evidence."

He added that although the accused had been jointly charged with three murders, a verdict for each individual on each count must be made.

The trial continues.

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