Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Honeymoon murders judge sums up

Ben and Catherine Mullany on their wedding day

A judge has begun summing up in the trial of two men accused of murdering a couple on their honeymoon in Antigua.

Kaniel Martin, 23, and Avie Howell, 20, both deny killing Ben and Catherine Mullany, whose lives were cut short little over a fortnight after their marriage.

Martin and Howell also stand accused of killing a local shopkeeper.

During their two-month trial, the court has heard that all victims died from a single bullet to the head and their murders were committed in the early hours of the morning.

Today, judge Mr Justice Richard Floyd told the jury at Antigua's High Court that they should reach their verdict on the "evidence alone".

He said Martin and Howell could be convicted on the basis of "joint enterprise", even if one played a "lesser part" than the other.

However, Mr Floyd said the jury must not speculate about what evidence was not presented to the court - nor base their decision on "public pressure, prejudice, sympathy or fear".

A guilty verdict, he said, must be reached on the basis of "beyond reasonable doubt".

If they were only "probably" sure Martin and Howell had committed the offences, then the defendants should be found not guilty, the judge said.

He also said there were different types of evidence - "circumstantial" and "direct".

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