Barbados rapes: Editor backs Rachel Turner and Diane Davies' call for inquiry

By Nic Rigby
BBC News

Image source, Other
Image caption,
Rape victims Dr Rachel Turner and Diane Davies fought to clear Derick Crawford's name

The editor of a Barbados newspaper has backed the call by two British women raped on the island for a full independent inquiry into how police handled the case.

Dr Rachel Turner, of Hertfordshire, and Diane Davies, of Anglesey, were raped within days of each other in 2010.

Barbadian Derick Crawford, 47, was charged with the rapes, but the case was dismissed last month.

Barbados Today editor Roy Morris said an inquiry could look at any concerns.

Dr Turner, 30, who grew up near Letchworth, Hertfordshire, and holds a research post at the University of the West Indies, and Mrs Davies, 63, of Valley, Anglesey, waived their right to anonymity to clear the name of Mr Crawford.

They have called for an inquiry into their treatment by police and why the police kept insisting on Mr Crawford's guilt long after they told them he was not the attacker, and when there was no forensic evidence linking Mr Crawford to the crimes.

After the dismissal of the case, Mr Crawford, who spent 18 months in jail, said he would be seeking compensation after being imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.

At a news conference in Barbados, Mr Crawford said he was coerced into making a confession.

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

Mr Morris told the BBC: "In my view there needs to be a public inquiry. Our view is that the evidence from the two victims suggests that the method of the police (investigation) should come under scrutiny."

He said an inquiry could clear the police of any impropriety or it might look at ways to improve the police force.

"Without an independent inquiry the integrity of the force comes into question," he said.

Mr Morris said the recording of police interviews, which had been considered by the Barbados force more than a decade ago, needed to be looked at again.

'Preposterous and insulting'

He said he felt the Royal Barbados Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin was "misguided" to tell a press conference last week he was happy with the original investigation.

Commissioner Dottin also said Dr Turner and Mrs Davies may not have recognised the attacker because he was a "different race".

Dr Turner told the BBC it was "preposterous and so insulting" to suggest that she would not recognise her attacker.

She said she was concerned that the police did not seem interested in finding the attacker.

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