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Parents' relief at life sentences

The parents of murdered honeymooner Ben Mullany have spoken of their relief that their son's killers will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

Mr Mullany and his wife Catherine, both 31, were both shot in the head while staying on the holiday island of Antigua in 2008.

They had been married a mere fortnight when Kaniel Martin and Avie Howell burst into their hotel chalet at 5am brandishing a Glock pistol.

After gunning down the Welsh newlyweds in cold blood, Martin and Howell then went on to kill a local shopkeeper in almost identical circumstances less than a fortnight later.

A judge at Antigua's High Court handed the pair three life sentences - although decided against imposing the death penalty because the shootings were not "the worst of the worst".

Mr Mullany's parents Marilyn and Ken said while they would never get over their loss, they were pleased the case was finally over.

Martin, 23, and Howell, 22, whose claims of innocence were branded a "tissue of lies" by a senior UK policeman called in to help the Antiguan authorities with their investigation, were convicted of all three murders last July.

However, their victims' families have endured an anxious wait for the sentencing to be passed following a series of painstaking delays.

Marilyn said: "We were quite shocked to learn of the sentence, it totally came out of the blue. There had been a lot of delays in the case, and when the judge said earlier this month he was going to have to consider matters fully we did not expect a sentence would be passed for some time. We are pleased and immensely relieved the case is now over."


From Belfast Telegraph