Honeymoon murder victim’s dying words

Undated handout photo of Ben and Catherine Mullany on their wedding day  as two men will go on trial today accused of murdering the British honeymoon couple in Antigua. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday June 01, 2011.  The newly-weds both 31, were shot in an apparent botched robbery at their luxury resort little more than a fortnight after their wedding day. See PA story COURTS Antigua. Photo credit should read: Handout/PA Wire

Undated handout photo of Ben and Catherine Mullany on their wedding day as two men will go on trial today accused of murdering the British honeymoon couple in Antigua. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday June 01, 2011. The newly-weds both 31, were shot in an apparent botched robbery at their luxury resort little more than a fortnight after their wedding day. See PA story COURTS Antigua. Photo credit should read: Handout/PA Wire

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A FORMER South Yorkshire Police officer murdered alongside his wife while on their luxury honeymoon in Antigua tried desperately to communicate with emergency workers who battled to save his life, a court heard.

Newly-weds Ben and Catherine Mullany, who were found lying in a bloodied scene at their Caribbean resort, died after an apparent botched robbery at their beachside hotel a fortnight after their wedding.

The couple, both aged 31, had been shot in the head.

Avie Howell, 20, and Kaniel Martin, 23, both deny their murders and have gone on trial at the High Court in St John’s, Antigua.

Horrific details emerged as a medic recalled treating Mr Mullany while he desperately tried to communicate with emergency workers.

But those battling to save him were never able to make out his words, jurors heard.

The trainee physiotherapist – who had worked for South Yorkshire Police – was pronounced dead a week after the attack on July 27, 2008. His new wife died at the scene.

Describing the bloodied bedroom, emergency medical technician Loretta Ephraim said she found Mrs Mullany lifeless on the floor and her husband on the bed.

She said: “While I was putting the bandage on he tried to say something but I couldn’t understand what he was saying.

“He was moving slightly and had a large swelling on the back of his bloodied head.”

Mrs Mullany’s brother Richard Bowen told the court he travelled to the island following the killing to identify his sister’s body.

The geophysicist from Swansea told jurors that three days after Mrs Mullany’s death he visited her critically injured husband in hospital: “Ben was one of my closest circle of friends. Whenever we did anything, Ben was always there, along with my sister.”

Mr Mullany’s mother and father, Marilyn and Cynlais, sat in the public gallery with the parents of their late daughter-in-law, David and Rachel Bowen, and listened as a hotel security guard told how the resort’s gate could be opened with a simple ‘hard push’.

Brinsley Barrie, on duty during the attack, agreed anyone could ‘easily’ have entered the hillside retreat.

He said there was no padlock on the gate that day - just a bolt and a ‘piece of iron’.

The case continues.