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Michaela's hopes for four children revealed in court

TRAGIC Michaela McAreavey and her husband John had hoped for a family of four children together.

The heartbreaking details of the couple's intimate family plans were unveiled in a court in Mauritius, where her family is suing the hotel where she was murdered.

Proceedings were lodged on Friday at the Supreme Court in Mauritius by her husband John McAreavey, father Mickey Harte and other members of the family.

Michaela (27) was murdered in room 1025 of the then Legends Hotel in January 2011.

Down GAA star John revealed that the couple knew each other for seven years and got engaged in Paris in 2008.



Anxiety

He said that he and his late wife were both devout and practising Roman Catholics.

John (27) and Michaela's parents and brothers are suing Holiday and Leisure Resorts Ltd, trading under Lux Grand Gaube Hotel, formerly Legends Hotel.

In John's claim, the document details that the Harte and McAreavey families say that her death has caused "a lot of grievances, anxiety, depressive state, shock, confusion and incommensurable pain to the plaintiffs."

The family said that all of the claims, except expenses incurred by John McAreavey, will be donated to The Michaela Foundation -- the charity set up in her memory to help children in need of education and support.

John is claiming a total of £1,124,440 (€1.3m), her father Mickey and mother Marion £50,000 (€61,400) each in moral damages and her brothers, Michael and Matthew, £25,000 (€30,700) each.

A professional counselling services bill will reach £10,000 (€12,200). John and the five other claimants say that the hotel failed to provide "a secure and safe place" for the couple during their honeymoon.

"Defendant (the hotel) had committed a serious and unforgivable 'fault' towards the newly-wedded couple and this led directly to the death of the late Michaela Mary McAreavey (born Harte)."

"Plaintiff No. 1 (John McAreavey) avers that he and his late wife were looking forward to have the most memorable holiday, as it was their honeymoon. Two days after their arrival in Mauritius Plaintiff No. 1 discovered his late wife brutally murdered by strangulation in their room at around 15.25hrs.

"On the said day, Plaintiff No. 1 and the late Michaela had lunch together and she later left Plaintiff No. 1 to go to their room to fetch some biscuits and never came back to join him for tea at the bar."

Among the fixed damages and expenses to be reimbursed in UK pounds, funeral and burial expenses came to £18,000 while flight expenses came to a total of £16,000.



Salary

Legal expenses at the preliminary inquiry came to £6,000 and during the trial to £19,000. Telecommunications, food and subsistence expenses came to £5,440.

As a teacher, Michaela was earning a yearly salary of £36,000, the court was told.

The filing lists that Michaela had a good chance of promotion and salary increase over the course of her career. If two-third of her salary was taken into account on a yearly basis, this would amount to £800,000.

A fresh police inquiry is under way after the acquittal of the two men accused of her murder, Sandip Moonea (42) and Avinash Treebhoowoon (31)

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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