Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 18:08 UK

Husband shot on honeymoon worsens

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

Police investigating the murder of a British doctor on their Caribbean honeymoon say her husband's condition appears to have deteriorated.

Catherine Mullany, 31, was shot dead and her husband Benjamin, also 31, was critically injured in their Antigua hotel on the last day of their holiday.

Police say Mr Mullany initially gave some responses, but has since worsened.

The couple, from south Wales, fell victim to a suspected robbery, and police are questioning five men.

Insp Cornelius Charles of the Antigua Police said that when officers first arrived at the scene, Mr Mullany had been able to signal to them with his finger.

But he said within two hours, he had lapsed into a coma.

Beverley Stairs talks about meeting the couple on the night they were attacked

"He hasn't regained consciousness since then," he said.

"There were some responses in the early stages - police who met him at the scene before the ambulance arrived felt he was giving certain signs with a finger that indicated that he knew what was going on.

"I think he just went downhill from there." Six men were initially held by police over the killing of Dr Mullany, from Pontardawe, Swansea Valley. Police say they are now questioning five men.

Relatives of the couple flew to the island on Tuesday.
Fellow tourist Beverley Stairs, who had spent the previous evening with the newlyweds, has told how she heard the gunshots from her hotel room.

Catherine Mullany
Catherine Mullany was training to be a GP
"I was woken by a shot, at about five," she said.

"I didn't really know what it was, [I had] never heard a gunshot before in my life so didn't know what what it was.

"[I] heard this shot and then this awful scream and then this other shot, which, I realised the next day, that's what it was," she added.

Gary Nelson, commissioner of police for Antigua and Barbuda, said all efforts were being made to catch the guilty.

"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," he said.

'Devastated'

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

Benjamin and Catherine Mullany overlook Worms Head, Rhosilli Bay
The couple, pictured in south Wales, were on the last day of the honeymoon
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.

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 was taken to Holberton Hospital in Antigua's capital, St John's, 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.




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