Barbados rapes: Case against Derick Crawford dismissed

By Nic Rigby
BBC News

Media caption,
Rachel Turner: Derick Crawford has"been held for 18 months for a crime he didn't commit"

A man accused of raping two British women in Barbados has had the case against him dropped, after the victims said he was innocent.

Researcher Dr Rachel Turner, from Hertfordshire, and Diane Davies, of Anglesey, north Wales, were attacked within days of each other in 2010.

Barbadian Derick Crawford, 47, was charged with the rapes.

The case was dismissed at a hearing earlier, Dr Turner and Mr Crawford's lawyer Andrew Pilgrim said.

The Royal Barbados Police and the Barbados Director of Public Prosecution have yet to comment. The case was being heard at a court in Holetown St James.

'Not the man'

Dr Turner, who grew up near Letchworth, Hertfordshire, and holds a research post at the University of the West Indies, gave evidence to the preliminary hearing. She has waived her right to anonymity, as has Mrs Davies.

"I told the hearing that I am convinced this was not the man who attacked me," Dr Turner told the BBC after the hearing.

She said she was angry about the failure of the police to find the real attacker and called on them to resume their investigation.

Last month, Mrs Davies gave evidence before a magistrate in Holetown. She told the court Mr Crawford was "not the man that raped me".

Image source, Other
Image caption,
Dr Turner and Mrs Davies fought to clear Derick Crawford's name, with solicitor Andrew Pilgrim

Dr Turner and Mrs Davies both believe that the police are more concerned about the country's tourist industry than catching the real attacker.

Following the hearing, Mrs Davies told the BBC from her home in Valley: "I feel proud for what we have achieved. We have battled for this for two years. This is not the end. I want the Barbados police to stand up and admit they made a mistake and find the real man who committed the crime."

Mr Pilgrim said: "I am delighted with the result, but disappointed it has taken so long."

He said he would be seeking compensation for Mr Crawford and called on the police to reopen the investigation.

Before the hearing, the Royal Barbados Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin said in a statement: "The Royal Barbados Police Force has an excellent reputation in the law enforcement community and is highly regarded.

"This is not to say that we never make mistakes. On the contrary, on such occasions it is our policy to admit our failings.

"To suggest that we put the reputation of our country before the welfare and comfort of our visitors is utterly wrong.

"Almost one million visitors come to Barbados each year. The overwhelming number of these visits are incident free."

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