Five Men Charged Over Roger Pratt's Death in St Lucia
25 January 2014, 08:27
Police in St Lucia say five men have been charged with murdering 62 year old Roger Pratt.
He and his wife Margaret set sail on their boat from Lowestoft last June for a dream holiday round the world. However, Mr Pratt lost his life last Friday (17th January) while defending Mrs Pratt from a group of armed men who boarded their yacht.
Phillip Francois, commissioner of the Royal St Lucia Police Force, said on Friday night (24th January) that the five men had also been charged with robbery.
He could not confirm their names but said they were expected to appear in court on Monday.
The couple were on the island ahead of Mrs Pratt's 60th birthday and had docked their boat, Magnetic Attraction, in a harbour on the eastern Caribbean island.
They had hoped to leave earlier, but had been delayed due to a bureaucratic hold-up, and Mr Pratt was forced to fend off the attackers.
Mrs Pratt found her husband floating in the water. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
A post-mortem examination carried out on Tuesday revealed that Mr Pratt died from drowning after suffering a traumatic blow to the head.
Mrs Pratt was also attacked and had to be treated for her injuries.
The murder has raised concerns on the small island, where tourism accounts for about two-thirds of the economy.
Earlier in the week, the island's tourism minister was forced to reassure potential visitors to the upmarket destination amid fears the murder could affect the number of people wanting to come.
Lorne Theophilus said: "I wish to assure you that as a destination St Lucia remains relatively safe for nationals and visitors alike.
"We are fully committed to seeing this investigation through to a final conclusion."