Tuesday 12 December 2017

One of 'honeymoon killers' who murdered British couple in Caribbean escapes prison

Ben and Catherine Mullany were murdered during their honeymoon on the Caribbean island of Antigua
Ben and Catherine Mullany were murdered during their honeymoon on the Caribbean island of Antigua

One of the killers of a British couple murdered on their Caribbean honeymoon has escaped from prison, police said.

Newlyweds Ben and Catherine Mullany, from Pontardawe, South Wales, had been married for little over a fortnight when they were shot in their hotel room on the holiday island of Antigua in 2008.

Local men Avie Howell and Kaniel Martin were later convicted of the murders and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Police in Antigua confirmed today that Howell had escaped from Her Majesty's Prison on the island along with a fellow inmate who had been detained on fraud charges.

Counsellor Jamal Wright, based at St John's police station in Antigua, said: "Avie Howell escaped from Her Majesty's Prison at about 6am on Thursday along with Kenroy Laurie Marshall.

"Apparently they used a sharp implement to cut out a portion of mesh and jumped over the northern prison wall, which is about 30ft (9m) high."

Sergeant Raymond Finley said he believed that Howell, who is in his early 20s, was still on the island and local police and defence forces were searching for him.

"I understand the victims' families will be very concerned," he said.

Howell and Martin burst into Mr and Mrs Mullany's chalet at the Cocos Hotel in a dawn raid in July 2008.

The 31-year-olds, who lived in Rhos, near Pontardawe, were both shot in the head while their killers made off with their mobile phones, a cheap digital camera and a handful of cash.

Qualified doctor Mrs Mullany died instantly. Her physiotherapy student husband - who was studying for his degree at the University of West England, Bristol - was flown home on a life-support machine.

Despite the best efforts of his wife's colleagues at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, the former South Yorkshire Police officer died a week after the shooting.

Five weeks after witnessing their wedding at St John The Evangelist Church in Cilybebyll, their parents were attending the couple's funeral.

Three years to the day after the deaths, Howell and Martin were found guilty of murdering the honeymoon couple as well as shooting 43-year-old local shopkeeper Woneta Anderson.

The killers were both jailed for life.

Last year Howell was handed an additional four-year sentence for a burglary he carried out just weeks before murdering Mr and Mrs Mullany.

The couple's family were said to be "extremely shocked" at the news that one of the killers had been able to escape.

They were also concerned that Howell might flee the island.

A source said: "You would have thought they would have kept him under lock and key."

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