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Honeymoon killers' sentence delayed

The parents of a British couple murdered on their honeymoon may have to wait until the new year before they can finally put their court ordeal behind them.

Newly-weds Ben and Catherine Mullany, of Rhos, near Pontardawe, South Wales, were gunned down on the Caribbean holiday island of Antigua in 2008 - a fortnight after they had tied the knot. Just four weeks after their parents attended the wedding, they buried their children in the grounds of the same church in which the 31-year-olds married.

Kaniel Martin, 23, and Avie Howell, 20, were convicted of the killings on July 27, three years to the day after the shootings, following a catalogue of legal delays.

Mr and Mrs Mullany's families had hoped the pair would finally be sentenced after psychiatric reports were eventually submitted to Antigua's High Court.

These reports were originally due to be put before Judge Richard Floyd last month but proceedings were adjourned at the last minute when Martin's barrister, Marcus Foster, suddenly fell ill.

However, the court heard that Martin and Howell's defence teams contested elements of the evaluation and want to put forward their mitigation next week. Judge Floyd said he needed to "consider matters fully" and hinted that the case may not be concluded before the end of 2011, with it listed again for December 8.

Sources close to Mr Mullany's parents, Marilyn and Cynlais, said the couple were extremely disappointed by the news.

A friend said: "There has been delay after delay since those two were charged with murder more than three years ago. Of course they accept things have to be done properly - they just feel like they are continually having to put their lives on hold.

"They will never get over losing Ben and Cath, but they want to put the case behind them once and for all. They feel as if too much consideration is being given to two murderers rather than the victims' families."

University of West England physiotherapy student Mr Mullany and his wife, a doctor working at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, died after being shot in the head on July 27 2008.


From Belfast Telegraph