Delay in sentencing of police officer’s killers

Have your say

THE killers of a former South Yorkshire police officer shot dead with his wife on their honeymoon will not be sentenced until psychiatric reports are carried out.

Ben Mullany, aged 31, worked as a police officer in the county before leaving the force to become a physiotherapist.

He was on honeymoon in Antigua with his new wife Catherine, also 31, when they were attacked in a robbery in their luxury hotel chalet in 2008.

Kaniel Martin, 23, and Avie Howell, 20, were found guilty of their murder after a two-month trial this summer and were expecting to be sentenced this week.

They have been told they could face the death penalty for gunning down the couple but their hearing was halted when the judge called for reports to be carried out before the pair learn their fate.

With the Caribbean island having only one qualified psychiatrist, the process is expected to take weeks.

A family friend of the murdered couple said: “They were aware that sentencing could be postponed because of the need to prepare psychiatric reports on Martin and Howell.

“They are content knowing the pair are currently behind bars, hopefully this will be for life.”

Ben and Catherine were both shot in the back of the head during a dawn raid, with Catherine - a doctor - dying in the hotel room instantly.

Ben survived the attack and was flown back home to South Wales in a desperate attempt to save his life, but despite the efforts of medics his life-support machine had to be turned off a week later when he failed to respond.

Many in Antigua are keen for the couple’s killers to be sentenced to death, with locals fearing the murders have tarnished’s Caribbean island’s reputation as a holiday paradise.