Page last updated at 21:28 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 22:28 UK

Big reward after honeymoon murder

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

A reward of about 67,000 has been offered for information leading to the conviction of the killer of a British doctor on honeymoon in the Caribbean.

Catherine Mullany, 31, from south Wales, died and her husband Ben, also 31, is in a critical condition after they were shot at their Antigua hotel.

Police on the island have admitted they are no nearer to finding a suspect.

Two hotel guards were questioned and released, and three other men quizzed, but none have been made suspects.

Police commissioner Gary Nelson, who was brought in from Canada to improve Antigua's police force earlier this year, said: "We're looking at all young men who have committed violent acts and we're questioning them.

Catherine Mullany
A tourist being murdered is a high priority: anybody being murdered is a high priority
Tourism minister Harold Lovell on the killing of Catherine Mullany, pictured

"This suspect, this person that's committing these terrible crimes, they have to have a girlfriend or boyfriend who knows something, and I call out for them to help us."

Mr Nelson added: "A tourist being murdered is a high priority: anybody being murdered is a high priority.

"We've got to get this under control ourselves."

The reward has been funded by members of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotel Association and the local business community who have raised 250,000 Eastern Caribbean dollars (about 48,000).

An anonymous businessman has offered a further 100,000 Eastern Caribbean dollars (about 19,000).

Antigua's Minister of Tourism, Harold Lovell, said the reward was indicative of the nation's desire to bring the crime's perpetrator to justice as soon as possible.

He said a task force had been set up on the island to review security at resorts and hotels.

"We've no reason to be alarmed at this time," he said.

"We believe the security procedures are adequate.

Police outside the hotel
Police have been investigating outside the hotel

"A life has been lost and that means a lot to us.

"Our hearts and our prayers go out to the family. To us, it's a matter of great sadness."

Asked about the impact on the island's tourism industry, he said he was focused on the fact that a life has been lost, rather than the economic impact.

"Obviously that's something we will have to consider, but we think the priority is for us to give the parents the support and sympathy they need," he said.

Bishop Errol Brooks, whose diocese includes Antigua, is in the UK for the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury.

He said: "Antigua's a small island, an island with friendly people and people who are very loving and outgoing so one murder is one too much.

"It really sends shockwaves throughout Antigua, shockwaves throughout the Caribbean region as a matter of fact."

The parents of Mr Mullany, Marilyn and Cynlais, from Ystalyfera in the Swansea valley, have been at his hospital bedside along with his wife's parents.

Dr Mullany was killed in the shooting at their hotel on the last day of their honeymoon, in a suspected robbery.

Hospital sources have told BBC reporters that Mr Mullany has little chance of recovery.

Mr Mullany, a third-year physiotherapy student at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol, is believed to have been shot in the neck and has a bullet lodged in his brain.

His parents, along with his wife's parents, Rachel and David Bowen, arrived at Holberton Hospital in the Antiguan capital of St John's on Tuesday afternoon.

Later, they all met Mr Lovell and the Deputy British High Commissioner at the hospital's pathology department before spending around 30 minutes at Mr Mullany's bedside.

The couple set off on their two-week honeymoon after marrying at a church in the Swansea valley on 12 July.

Dr Mullany was a based at the children's unit at Swansea's Singleton Hospital. She was training to become a GP.



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