Page last updated at 12:53 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 13:53 UK

Five held over honeymoon killing

Catherine and Benjamin Mullany
The couple married on 12 July and arrived in the Caribbean two days later

Five men are being questioned by police over the murder of a British doctor shot dead in her hotel room in Antigua while she was on honeymoon.

Catherine Mullany, 31, was killed on the last day of a two week holiday during a suspected robbery.

Her husband Benjamin, also 31, remains in a critical condition in hospital after he was also shot.

Relatives of the couple, from Pontardawe, south Wales, are due to arrive on the island on Tuesday.

Inspector Cornelius Charles, from the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, said they currently had five local men in custody at St John's Police Station in St Johns, the capital city of Antigua.

He said they were not suspects but 'persons of interest'.

No-one has been charged in connection to the incident.

He said a number of people had been questioned as part of the investigation including other hotel guests.

Catherine Mullany
Catherine Mullany was training to be a GP

Commissioner of Police for Antigua and Barbuda, Gary Nelson, said: "We are still conducting our inquiries and as such unable to share any leads relating to this incident.

"We are all deeply shocked and saddened - this is the first visitor homicide in over 10 years and it is a situation we never want to see repeated.

"Everything is being done to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice.

"On behalf of the Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force, we extend our most sincere condolences to the families," he added.

He said the parents of Mr and Mrs Mullany were due to arrive on the island later on Tuesday.

The couple's families have said they are "deeply shocked and devastated" by the attack, which happened on the last day of the couple's two-week honeymoon.

Visitors in a neighbouring cottage at Cocos Hotel heard shots at around 0500 Antigua time on Sunday morning.

Ben and Catherine Mullany
Colleagues have expressed their sorrow at Dr Mullany's death

Officers said in the early stages of the investigation that they were treating the incident as a robbery which had gone wrong. It is believed that someone entered their cottage while the couple were asleep.

Mr Mullany, who is a physiotherapist, was taken to Holberton Hospital, where he is in the intensive care unit.

Dr Mullany, nee Bowen, was a hospital doctor based at the children's unit at Swansea's Singleton Hospital. She was training to be a GP.

In a statement released through South Wales Police, the couple's families said: "We are deeply shocked and devastated at the recent events in Antigua and are struggling to comprehend what has happened to Ben and Catherine.

"We appreciate the support of our family and friends."

Two family liaison officers are supporting the families, passing on information from the Antiguan authorities and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Dr Dewi Evans, a consultant paediatrician at Singleton Hospital Swansea paid tribute to Mrs Mullany who was training to become a GP.

"Catherine was delightful, any parent would be proud to have a daughter like Catherine," he said.

"Any doctor would love to have someone like Catherine as a colleague. She was an attractive, conscientious, extremely able young person."

A spokeswoman for Cocos Hotel Antigua, a popular getaway for newlyweds, said they were co-operating closely with the police investigation.

She said: "Our thoughts are with the families of the couple concerned."




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