Published Wednesday, 06 June 2012
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Tears at Mauritius trial
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The Co Down accountant, giving evidence for the first time, told the trial of two men accused of murdering his 27-year-old "wonderful, wonderful" wife that her death had ended his life.
"I do not have the words to fully explain how much she means to me and how much she still means to me and her family," Mr McAreavey said.
"She was loved by her parents - their only daughter. She was cherished by her brothers - their only sister. She had so many special qualities that it would be impossible for me to fully explain how a good a person she was."
She completed my whole life ... She was the most beautiful person I have seen.
Describing how he fell to his knees and prayed after desperately trying to revive Michaela, his voice faltered.
"Michaela was cold ... And her lips were blue and I kept on just saying 'Michaela, Michaela, wake up, come on, come on.' Then I could see this mark on her neck ..." he said.
"I didn't know what was going on. I was grabbing her and trying to press on her chest and trying to attempt CPR - I don't even know CPR.
"I was just holding her in my arms, telling her to just wake up."
It is the prosecution case that two hotel workers - Sandip Moneea, 42 and from Petit Raffray, and 31-year-old Avinash Treebhoowoon, from Plaine des Roches - strangled Michaela when she caught them stealing.
But in the Supreme Court in the island's capital of Port Louis on Wednesday, Mr McAreavey described how he was treated by investigating police in the wake of his wife's death.
Driven from the luxury Legends Resort in a Jeep, the four officers with him pulled over for fast-food before taking the grief-stricken widower to a derelict-looking building and taking off his shirt to look for marks.
They put handcuffs on me and I was sat down on a bench ... It was for at least five hours, I'm sure. More - actually it was late into the night.
"I could see what was going through their minds," Mr McAreavey said.
Handcuffed and sat on a bench, one officer said to him: "What are you crying about? You're young, you'll get another wife."
He was then left alone for hours.
Mr McAreavey, who was eventually released after making a statement, flew back to Mauritius from Northern Ireland for the start of the murder trial.
He was not allowed to attend court beyond the opening day though, due to his role as a prosecution witness, and his appearances have sparked a lot of interest.
On both occasions, crowds have jostled outside the court and packed out the public gallery - where Mr McAreavey's sister Claire, father Brendan and brother-in-law Mark Harte have also been watching proceedings.
Moneea and Treebhoowoon both deny the premeditated murder of Michaela McAreavey in January 2011.
The trial continues.