Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Sunday, 3 August 2008 17:45 UK

Honeymoon groom dies in hospital

Ben and Catherine Mullany
The couple, pictured in south Wales, were on the last day of the honeymoon

A husband has died in hospital, a week after he and his wife were shot while on honeymoon in the Caribbean.

A spokesman for the hospital in Swansea said following brain stem testing Ben Mullany "has now passed away".

His wife Catherine, 31, was killed at their rented holiday cottage in Antigua during an attempted robbery.

Mr Mullany, 31, from Pontardawe, was flown home in a critical condition early on Saturday. Mrs Mullany's body was also returned to the UK separately.

A spokesman for Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust added: "The thoughts of all the staff who were involved in Ben's care are with his family at this very sad time.

"We would now ask the media to respect his family's wishes, and allow them privacy to grieve for Ben."

Mr Mullany, who had been studying to be a physiotherapist, had been transferred to Morriston Hospital in Swansea, where his late doctor wife had trained.

On Sunday, prayers were said at services in the couple's home town.

At the Tabernacle Chapel in Pontardawe, the Reverend Gareth Morgan Jones paid a eulogy to Catherine, who he had known since she was at school.

Chapel-goers in Pontardawe on Sunday
Chapel-goers in Pontardawe on Sunday

"Catherine was a talented person but more than that she was a person full of love," said Mr Morgan Jones.

"She was a caring person, loving people and that's why she was an asset to the [medical] profession."

He said the congregation also held a "very moving" minute's silence, then sang a hymn, which Catherine would have once sung in the choir at her school, Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera, about turning the night into day.

Mr Morgan Jones said after the service that prayers were said for both "close knit" families.

Mr Mullany had been in a coma after suffering a fractured skull as well as having a bullet lodged in the back of his head following the attack.

He did not regain consciousness and died on Sunday.

His wife's body was flown home separately, accompanied by her parents.

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Pictures of Catherine and Ben Mullany on honeymoon

Meanwhile, five British police officers in Antigua to help local police have visited the scene of the shooting.

The police team, led by Superintendent Keith Niven, were invited to the Caribbean island by the local police chief, who has admitted that his force has been stretched by the investigation.

'Code of silence'

The couple, both 31, were attacked on the 27 July, the last day of their two-week honeymoon, in what is believed to have been a bungled robbery.

Antigua police say a "person of interest" is being interviewed.

Island police commissioner Gary Nelson said he is confident of catching the gunman.

"We are turning over all the stones to find the person responsible," he told the BBC News Channel.

Mr Nelson has also said the police were being hampered by a "code of silence" or lack of trust in police on the island.

Police have now questioned more than 30 people in the investigation.

A reward of 67,000 has been offered for information leading to the conviction of the killer.




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