Barbados rapes: Concerns raised over treatment of British victims

By Nic Rigby
BBC News

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

Concerns raised by two British woman who were raped in Barbados have been put to the island's Police Commissioner by the British High Commissioner.

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 two victims were convinced of his innocence and the case was dismissed this month.

High Commissioner Paul Brummell this week met Commissioner Darwin Dottin.

Mr Brummell said as well as meeting the Royal Barbados Police Commissioner, he also met the Barbados Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and senior Barbados government officials.

He said the meeting was organised to discuss "the concerns that had been raised with me by Dr Rachel Turner and Mrs Diane Davies, British citizens who were the victims of rape in Barbados in 2010, as regards both their treatment and the police investigation".

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, are angry at the insensitive way they say they were treated by police.

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Image caption,
Dr Turner, Mrs Davies, Derick Crawford and his solicitor Andrew Pilgrim want an inquiry

They say they also do not understand 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 crime.

The women, who waived their right to anonymity to voice their concerns, want the police to find the real attacker.

Mr Brummell said at the meeting the "Commissioner of Police told me that he will be making a public statement on the matter".

He added: "The British High Commission is working with the Barbados police force to encourage improvements in the treatment of victims of crime and investigation techniques."

Following the dismissal of the case by a court in Holetown St James, Mr Crawford, his solicitor Andrew Pilgrim and Dr Turner called for the Barbados authorities to hold an inquiry into case.

Mr Pilgrim said: "We want a government inquiry into policing. One concern is that the police do not record confessions."

A spokesman for Royal Barbados Police said the Commissioner would not be commenting at this stage.