Widow tells jury of shooting horror

A WIDOW has finally had the chance to stand up in court and tell a jury how her husband was shot dead by a masked gunman at their holiday home.Margaret Fetherston has been waiting more than four years to give her dramatic evidence at the trial of the man accused of murdering her husband.

A WIDOW has finally had the chance to stand up in court and tell a jury how her husband was shot dead by a masked gunman at their holiday home.

Margaret Fetherston has been waiting more than four years to give her dramatic evidence at the trial of the man accused of murdering her husband.

They jury heard the masked gunman had confronted Mrs Fetherston and her husband, Tony – who was born in Frinton and was a former deputy chairman of the Thomas Meadows International freight forwarding company – at their holiday home in Basseterre in St Kitts.

The couple, from Woodbridge, had had supper when the door bell rang on the outer wall surrounding Land's End, their bungalow, and Mr Fetherston, 65, went into the garden to see who was there.

Mrs Fetherston told the jury yesterday: "I called out, but he did not turn round. Then I heard a loud shout of 'Oh God'. Then I saw him spin round and I heard a loud crash.

"I was on the phone talking to my daughter. I said to my daughter 'Your father has been shot'."

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The gunman then turned his attention to Mrs Fetherston, now alone inside the bungalow, and tried to smash down a door and attack her.

Mrs Fetherston told how she had dropped to her knees and crawled along the floor. She pulled the telephone towards her and frantically dialled for help, then bolted the door.

"I heard a voice saying something about money. 'Please God, I do not have any money', I said."

The gunman then fled empty-handed and she then looked for her husband.

"I opened the door. It was very, very quiet, I saw nobody in the garden except my husband on the ground," she said.

"He was lying with his legs drawn up, very still, not moving at all. I went up to him and I knelt down and I felt for his pulse. There was no pulse and I felt his neck, nothing, I touched his head. It was already cold and I knew he was dead.

Joseph Hazel, a 30-year-old decorator who lived close to the Fetherston's holiday home and has denied carrying out the murder.

The jury was told maroon trousers, with the right leg cut off, had been found stuck between a concrete column and a gate at Land's End, while a maroon mask had been found hanging from flowers.

Forensic evidence has already revealed that Hazel's DNA was on the trousers, but not on the mask that had been cut from the trousers.

The trial, which had been adjourned since Friday after a woman juror fell ill, restarted yesterday and Mrs Fetherston spent 40 minutes in the witness box, speaking slowly and precisely as she recalled her husband's death on January 26, 2000.

Under cross-examination from Henry Browne, the lawyer defending Hazel, Mrs Fetherston disclosed how a substantial sum of money had been stolen from Land's End in March 1999 while workmen were repairing the roof.

The trial continues today.

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