Frustration of shot millionaire's wife

THE widow of Suffolk millionaire Tony Fetherston who was shot dead at their Caribbean holiday home has spoken of her frustration at the delay in holding a trial.

THE widow of Suffolk millionaire Tony Fetherston who was shot dead at their Caribbean holiday home has spoken of her frustration at the delay in holding a trial.

A decision is expected within a few days on the date of the long-awaited trial of painter Joseph Hazel, accused of murdering Mr Fetherston, 65, on St Kitts.

September is the possible month for the trial although the Foreign Office has admitted that a firm date has still not been settled. A spokeswoman said the Consular Division had indicated the case was scheduled for the September assizes.

The death of Frinton-born Mr Fetherston occurred on January 26, 2000, when he was confronted by a masked man and was shot after telling him he had no cash.

The gunman, and possibly other accomplices, tried unsuccessfully to break into the bungalow on the edge of the island's capital Basseterre where Margaret Fetherston had been talking to their daughter Alex on the phone.

Mrs Fetherston was unhurt during the terrifying incident and she returned to the island in January to give evidence at the committal hearing of Hazel, who has been in prison for nearly 15 months.

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Mrs Fetherston, of Woodbridge, said yesterday: ''I think people have got sick and tired of the procrastination. I get the impression the St Kittians want it to happen as quickly as possible as they do not want it hanging over them.''

Mrs Fetherston flew to St Kitts in January to give evidence at the committal. But her court appearance was delayed two weeks and she had to wait on the island until the court was ready. Afterwards she was given a subpoena, a writ ordering her to return for a Crown Court trial in May.

Mrs Fetherston said: ''I was told to be present in May and then the whole thing went away again. That was extraordinary. Nobody called me to say it had been put back. I had to phone and say am I needed to go out.

''I am now sitting and waiting to hear what the situation is. It will be three years in January since Tony died.''

However, it could be difficult for the Crown Prosecution Service to bring together all the witnesses at such short notice for a September trial.

Hazel's committal took about six months because it was only held intermittently at times when witnesses, particularly those required from England, could attend the hearing.

There was a long delay when Kamala DeSoyza, a forensic scientist with the Home Office in London, was unable to fly out to the island until the cost of her trip - to give two hours of evidence about DNA findings – had been financed by the St Kitts government.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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