'Wrong man' accused of Barbados rapes, say British victims at court hearing
Friday 23 November 2012
Two British women who were raped in Barbados say the man charged with attacking them has been wrongly accused after meeting him at a court hearing.
Dr Rachel Turner, from Hertfordshire, and Diane Davies, of Anglesey, north Wales, were assaulted within days of each other in 2010.
Barbadian Derick Crawford, 47, has been charged with the attacks but the pair have told police he was not the rapist.
The two women, who have waived their right to anonymity, say Crawford does not look or sound like the man who attacked them in Holetown St James and believe the real rapist is still on the loose.
They both met Crawford on the Caribbean island ahead of a committal hearing on Tuesday, which was adjourned to today.
According to the BBC, Dr Turner said: "The person who attacked me was in their early 30s. This person (Crawford) was 47 and has a scar on his face, features that are completely different."
Mrs Davies said: "The attacker was at least 10 years younger than this man. He was taller, chubbier and had a round face. He (Crawford) is nothing like him."
Dr Turner, 30, who grew up near Letchworth, Hertfordshire, and holds a research post at the University of the West Indies, was attacked as she walked along a path to the beach in October 2010.
Mrs Davies was assaulted while on holiday in the same area two days later.
Backing their cause is Hilary Heath, 66, a former actress and now an addiction counsellor who endured a similar rape while working for a charity on the Caribbean island eight years ago.
Mrs Heath told the Independent: "Nobody wants to hurt the island's tourism but you want people to be protected. When I heard about Diane's case, I thought 'My God, they have done nothing'.
"If this man is the wrong man, they have been holding him for two years and they have not been out there looking for the man who did it."
The prosecution case against Crawford is reportedly relying on a confession which has since been retracted.
According to the BBC, Royal Barbados Police (RBP) commissioner Darwin Dottin said in a statement: "The team of investigators who were tasked with investigating these assaults are firmly of the view that the evidence strongly supports the decision to arrest and charge Mr Crawford.
"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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