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Antigua honeymoon shooting victim Ben Mullany dies in hospital

Posted on 12:38 PM by Sameer Shah

Ben Mullany, who was shot in the head in a bungled burglary while on honeymoon in Antigua, has died.



Ben Mullany and his wife Catherine at their wedding. Photo: WALES NEWS SERVICE
Ken and Marilyn Mullany, the parents of shot newlywed Ben Mullany at a news conference at Morriston Hospital, Swansea
Ben Mullany's parents Ken and Marilyn during a news conference at Morriston Hospital, Swansea Photo: PA
Clarence James (AKA Cloud), the prime suspect in the shooting of Catherine and Ben Mullany
Police in Antigua have revealed that Clarence James, who goes by the name of 'Cloud' has been arrested in connection to the deadly shootings Photo: Splash

Mr Mullany was declared dead by doctors at Morriston Hospital in Swansea this evening. The 31-year-old had been in a coma since the shooting.

His wife Catherine Mullany died instantly during the attack on the Caribbean island last week.

Mr Mullany was flown home from Antigua on Friday night, and was being treated in the hospital where his wife trained as a doctor. He had a fractured skull and a bullet lodged in the back of his head.

"Following brain stem testing that was carried out earlier today, Ben Mullany has now passed away," a hospital spokeswoman said.

"The thoughts of all the staff who were involved in Ben's care are with his family at this very sad time.

"We would now ask the media to respect his family's wishes, and allow them privacy to grieve for Ben."

It also emerged today that a man alleged to be a beachside drug dealer who goes by the name of “Cloud” has been arrested in connection with the shooting of the honeymoon couple.

The bandana-wearing Rastafarian Clarence James regularly befriends holidaymakers on Antigua's white sandy beaches.

After questioning more than 30 people over the horrific shooting murder detectives say he is the one of "most interest" to them.

They are questioning whether James has an alibi for the time of the 5am bungled robbery just over a week ago in the Welsh couple's luxury cottage at the Cocos Hotel.

Mrs Mullany's funeral service is to be held in the same church where the couple were married only three weeks ago.

Wedding guests will return to say goodbye at the 12th Century St John the Evangelist Church in her home village of Cilybebyll, near Pontardawe, South Wales. Prayers were said for the couple at the church today.

One worshipper said: "Catherine grew up here, everyone knew her and the whole village turned up on the day to see her getting married. Now her funeral will take place here, it's just too awful to contemplate."

Antiguan police said they had arrested James twice and he was last taken in for questioning during the early hours of Saturday. He has allegedly admitted selling marijuana.

Locals and holidaymakers described him as a "cheeky chappie" who wears chunky gold chains and allegedly tells tourists he can get hold of "anything you want".

He also offers to drive visitors around the island and detectives are investigating a claim that Mr and Mrs Mullany let him take them on a vehicle tour.

Det Inspector Nuffield Burnette said: "We currently have two people in custody, including James, and James is the person we are most interested in.

"We initially heard he took the couple on a tour. At the moment we have not been able to confirm he did take them on a tour.

"He denies knowing them and he has tried to give us an alibi for the night of the murder.

"He is a beach vendor. We are not close to charging him. We have to prove murder beyond reasonable doubt."

A team of detectives from Scotland Yard and South Wales Police arrived in Antigua on Saturday.

The five-strong squad includes a forensic expert and is headed by one of Britain's top murder investigators, Det Supt Keith Niven.

After arriving Mr Niven went straight to the murder scene and spent an hour at the romantic wooden villa where officers from the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda gave him a step-by-step account of the July 27 attack.

Mr Niven said: "The forensic side of this is going to be crucial and once we do an examination we'll be in a much better position. We want to get this solved, and the sooner the better."

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