Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Honeymoon accused 'watched husband'

Avinash Treebhoowon looks at his wife Reshma outside the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius
witness Raj Theekoy, a hotel room attendant, outside the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius

Two hotel workers accused of murdering honeymooner Michaela McAreavey watched on as her husband cried out for someone to save his bride, their trial has been told.

A cleaner who claims he saw the defendants emerge from the luxury hotel room in Mauritius where the Co Tyrone teacher died shortly after hearing her scream, told court the pair returned to the scene soon afterwards as crowds gathered.

Prosecution witness Raj Theekoy said the accused - Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon - ran with him to room 1025 of the exclusive Legends Hotel when the alarm was raised that something was wrong.

Testifying at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mr Theekoy said they had followed a sprinting hotel manager Brice Lunot and other staff as they rushed to the room.

He said: "I went to room 1025, the door was open, I saw the dead body of the lady lying on the floor."

Mr Theekoy said Mr Lunot tried to compress Mrs McAreavey's chest as her distressed husband John called out.

"He was crying and said, please save my wife," he said.

The witness said he and the two defendants did not enter the room and were soon told by Mr Lunot to leave the scene.

Mr Theekoy later had his account of the day vigorously challenged by a defence lawyer. Under cross-examination it emerged that he called his wife minutes after he heard the cries from room 1025, despite telling police he initially told no-one.

Fellow Legends cleaner Treebhoowoon, 31, from Plaine des Roches, and floor supervisor Moneea, 42, from Petit Raffray, deny strangling the 27-year-old daughter of Tyrone gaelic football boss Mickey Harte in the gated beach-side complex last January.

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