Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mauritius : John McAreavey's widower John gives evidence in Mauritius

John McAreavey 
John McAreavey, pictured arriving at the Supreme Court in Mauritius

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The widower of Michaela McAreavey has told the trial of two men accused of murdering her that on the day she was killed, his "life ended as well".

Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, and Sandip Moneea, 42, both deny murdering Mrs McAreavey in her honeymoon suite in Mauritius in January 2011.

John McAreavey said she was "a very special human being".

He recalled finding the hotel room door open then seeing her in the bath with the water still running.

Mr McAreavey, who is appearing as a prosecution witness, said his wife had returned to the room to get biscuits. He said he had offered to go, but she had insisted that she would.
"Obviously I wish I had gone," he told the court.

Rushing water

Asked what was going through his mind when he heard the rushing water, he said his first thought was that Michaela had just decided at the last minute to have a bath.

In emotional scenes at the Supreme Court in Mauritius, he said: "I ran to the bathroom, dropped my bag and grabbed Michaela."

John and Michael McAreavey 
John and Michaela McAreavey pictured at their wedding, days before she was murdered

He said he did not know what was going on, but she was cold and he noticed marks on her neck.

He said he pulled Mrs McAreavey from the bathtub, and although he did not know CPR he attempted to resuscitate her.

"I was holding her in my arms, telling her to wake up - Michaela, Michaela, come on, wake up," he told the jury.

Mr McAreavey said he then screamed for help.

He began his evidence on Wednesday by setting the scene and talking about their relationship.

'Wonderful person'

He said his wife was a "wonderful person", and showed the court photographs taken on their wedding day and during their honeymoon.

He said that when they first met at a student night out in Belfast in 2005, "it was love at first sight".
He said they got engaged in 2008, and during their five years together, they only spent three "very painful" days apart.
After their engagement, he said they spent the next two years planning their family home and their wedding, which he described as a "magical affair".

John McAreavey's father Brendan and his sister Claire 
John McAreavey's father Brendan and his sister Claire were among those supporting him in court

Mr McAreavey said it had been Michaela's idea to have their honeymoon in Mauritius, after reading favourable reviews from other Irish couples on the internet.

During his evidence, he also spoke about how he was treated by police following his wife's death.

Mr McAreavey said four officers had brought him from the hotel to a "derelict-looking building", where he was put in a room.

Officers took off his shirt and examined him for marks, he told the court.

"I could see what was going through their minds," he said.


"They put handcuffs on me and I was sat down on a bench."

Mr McAreavey said he was then left alone in the room.

"It was for at least five hours, I'm sure, more - actually it was late into the night."

He said that after making a statement, he was eventually released and brought back to the hotel where a nurse cared for him through the night.

Mrs McAreavey, 27, a teacher from County Tyrone, was found dead at the Legends Hotel.
She was the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte.

Mr McAreavey is being accompanied in court by his sister Claire, his father Brendan and his brother-in-law Mark Harte, as well as an Irish Embassy official and two PSNI detectives.

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