Progress! St Lucia DPP reaches out after 1,000 days
I started the campaign “Justice for Roger” www.justiceforroger.com because of the lack of progress there appeared to be in this case and the lack of communication I received from the Authorities on the Island. It was clear to me that unless I stood out in some way years would pass before justice might be served in respect of those accused of murdering my husband.
St Lucia is a beautiful Caribbean Island and was an early destination for our “trip of a lifetime” when Roger and I sailed from the UK across the Atlantic on our yacht ‘Magnetic Attraction’.
When we arrived in January 2014 we certainly thought we had found a kind of paradise.
That illusion was shattered of course one night in January when our boat was singled out for a robbery and in the attack by four young men, I was badly beaten but much worse, Roger was murdered.
The four attackers were quickly identified, they confessed and were charged with admirable efficiency. There was a plethora of evidence including incontrovertible DNA evidence to place those accused on-board the boat that night. But this flying start proved to be a false beginning. Far from getting the wheels in motion to bring Justice for Roger – a three-year procrastination began.
Month after month – the enquiries I made, and enquiries the Foreign Office made on my behalf as to progress, were steadfastly ignored by the criminal justice authorities on the Island. The silence was deafening.
So, as the frustration built up over the years I decided to launch the www.justiceforroger.com social media campaign. The website, the Twitter and Facebook feeds have garnered loyal followers and the campaign has succeeded in bringing the matter to the fore. Exactly what I hoped it would do – other people are now asking – “what is happening, and when”?
Momentum is a wonderful thing and after I posted my first blog a fortnight ago – the main TV Channel in St. Lucia, HTS, were so shocked to discover the poor treatment I had been receiving that they did an interview with me and ran it as their main news of the evening. Little did I think when I penned and published the blog just over a fortnight ago what an effect it would have!
So here is what happened last week:
The morning after the interview was broadcast, my legal representative on the Island - Mr Leslie Prospere of Gordon Gordon and Co - received a call from the Director of Public Prosecutions himself: Mr Greene, the top man! He gave Mr Prospere his private email address and telephone number and asked me to call him.
I was clearly thrilled but it was with a sense of trepidation that I dialled his number. What would he say? As I dialled I told myself – “well at least you’ll get some news Margaret”!
Mr Green was polite, concerned and very helpful I am delighted to report. He apologised for the lack of communication and told me that as he was new to the role, he had inherited a complex challenge as incoming DPP. This included a massive pile of cases awaiting trial and a mandate to transform and update an old-fashioned and outdated department.
But better: rather than simply providing me with excuses DPP Greene promised to take personal charge of the case. He said he would review the Roger Pratt case files personally that very weekend, including a detailed look at the confessions of those accused and a review of the DNA evidence. He shared some technical details about the presentation of the case going forward. It was great to hear what is in his mind! I seek only to see justice be delivered for Roger.
Our conversation was cordial and for now I am satisfied that a line of communication has been established. I’m now awaiting further feedback on “where we are” and I am sure that will follow in the coming days and weeks. I will, of course, be keeping all of you following this case fully up to date.
So, thank you, DPP Greene, for reaching out – it is much appreciated and a great renewed start.
My sincere thanks must go finally to Mr. Winston Springer Jr and Allison of HTS TV in St Lucia for your interest in Roger’s case and bringing it to the fore. Without your support, justiceforroger.com might be no further forward.
The power of the media – I have experienced for myself!
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