Ben and Catherine Mullany: Killer handed new jail term

Ben and Catherine Mullany Ben and Catherine Mullany were shot on their honeymoon in Antigua

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The parents of a couple murdered on their Caribbean honeymoon have welcomed news that one of the killers has been handed a new jail term.

Ben and Catherine Mullany, from Pontardawe, had been married for little over a fortnight when they were shot in their hotel room in Antigua.

Avie Howell and Kaniel Martin were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Howell, 23, has been given another four years for burglary.

He was sentenced at the High Court in Antigua last week.

The court heard he committed the crime just weeks before murdering Mr and Mrs Mullany at their luxury beachside chalet.

A family friend of Mr Mullany said: "The news of Avie Howell's latest conviction did come as a bit of a surprise to the family as they did not know he had carried out other crimes in the run up to the murders.

"We simply don't know if he had been caught for the break-in he would have been behind bars when Ben and Cath were on honeymoon.

Kaniel Martin, 23, (right) arrives at the High Court in St Johns, Antiqua Kaniel Martin (right) was found guilty of killing Mr and Mrs Mullany, along with Avie Howell

"It's too difficult to think about.

"But Ben's parents welcomed the fact that Howell has been brought to justice again."

Howell's latest conviction saw him carry out a raid at a home in the Browns Avenue area of the island between 1 and 2 June 2008.

Around 13,569 EC (£4,257) of goods were stolen - including gold and silver jewellery, 300 US dollars in cash and three mobile phones.

A spokesman for The Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda said: "I can confirm that on January 25, Avie Howell was sentenced to four years in prison for house breaking and larceny.

"He had pleaded guilty to the charge."

Four weeks on from that break-in, Howell and Martin then burst into Mr and Mrs Mullany's chalet at the Cocos Hotel.

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

Mrs Mullany, a doctor, died instantly.

Shooting

Her student physiotherapist husband - who was studying 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, the former South Yorkshire police officer died a week following the shooting.

Ben and Catherine Mullany Ben and Catherine Mullany were killed on honeymoon in the Caribbean

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

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

The pair were handed a life term in prison each

Since the murders, Mr and Mrs Mullany's relatives have been trying to secure a positive legacy for the couple via The Mullany Fund charity.

Catherine Mullany's brother Richard Bowen said only 11% of UK doctors were from the lowest socio-economic group.

To help bridge this gap, the Mullany Fund received funding last year from the Big Lottery Fund's Awards for All programme, which enabled them to launch an e-mentoring project for youngsters.

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