'I left room 10 minutes before she was killed'
AVINASH Treebhoowoon is adamant he had finished cleaning Michaela McAreavey's room and was elsewhere in the Legends resort at the time she was killed.
He told the court yesterday how he had been accused of a theft at a job in a different hotel but was cleared of involvement and later offered a promotion.
He said he had worked at the former Legends Hotel for four years and outlined how he had arrived for work as normal on the morning of January 10, 2011.
He was scheduled to clean nine rooms -- including 1025, where Michaela was staying with her husband John.
Mr Treebhoowoon said that he met John in the corridor that afternoon and asked him if he'd like his room cleaned but was told to come back in five minutes.
According to Mr Treebhoowoon there was a 'Do not disturb' sign on the door when he returned so he found his supervisor, Sandip Moneea, to ask him what he should do.
He said Mr Moneea called room 1025, and getting no answer, told him to go and clean the room.
Mr Treebhoowoon said he started cleaning the room at 2:10pm and finished at 2:35pm, only stopping for a brief chat with security officer Dassen Naraynan. He said he left the McAreaevys' room 10 minutes before police say Michaela was killed.
He said he was near room 1010 with Mr Moneea and another hotel worker, prosecution witness Raj Theekoy, a short while later when he saw manager Brice Lunot running towards room 1025.
They followed the manager and reached the room where he said he saw Michaela lying on the ground before being told to leave by Mr Lunot.
After that he said he returned his trolley and magnetic key card to the housekeeping department and went to the staff canteen.
Later that evening, Mr Treebhoowoon's boss told him he couldn't go home because police wanted to take a statement that he had cleaned Michaela's room that day.
He was shown police photographs of the disarray in room 1025 after Michaela's murder and said that the room had not been in that state when he left it.