‘Jus­tice for Roger’ Cam­paign Go­ing Strong

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Clau­dia Elei­box

Said Mar­garet Pratt: "Im­me­di­ately af­ter Roger was mur­dered, the re­sponse from the po­lice and gov­ern­ment was im­pres­sive. Min­is­ters en­sured that the case was pur­sued with en­ergy, and ar­range­ments were made for me to move to a ho­tel whilst the po­lice com­pleted the foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion of Mag­netic At­trac­tion. The po­lice ded­i­cated a lot of re­sources to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion; made early ar­rests and ob­tained foren­sic and con­fes­sion ev­i­dence.”

Mar­garet Pratt was wid­owed on 17 Jan­uary, 2014 when her hus­band was killed on their sail­ing ves­sel whilst they were vis­it­ing Saint Lu­cia just ten days af­ter her 60th birth­day. She re­ceived mul­ti­ple as­sur­ances from the then Prime Min­is­ter Kenny An­thony, as well as the po­lice force, Di­rec­tor of Public Pros­e­cu­tions, and Saint Lu­cia Tourist Board (SLTB) who specif­i­cally stated, “As a des­ti­na­tion, Saint Lu­cia has, and will con­tinue, to treat this mat­ter with the great­est de­gree of sen­si­tiv­ity and ur­gency.”

At the time Mar­garet didn’t dis­re­gard the many won­der­ful mem­o­ries she had made in Saint Lu­cia and, even in her grief, was favourable to our is­land in her me­dia in­ter­views.

On her re­turn to the United King­dom Mar­garet waited pa­tiently for the progress of the case. Be­fore she left the is­land’s shores, five young men had been taken into cus­tody. Alas, af­ter some six months ev­ery­thing seemed to stall. Ac­cord­ing to her, when she wrote to Kenny An­thony and re­ceived no re­sponse, that is when her con­cerns arose. How­ever, she con­tin­ued to keep a low profile.

It wasn’t un­til al­most three years had passed, closer to the end of 2016, that Mar­garet launched the “Jus­tice­forRoger” cam­paign be­cause of the lack of an­swers and the dis­con­tin­u­a­tion of as­sis­tance.

“I tried to work with the gov­ern­ment and ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties to try to find out what was go­ing on and try to get an­swers. From my di­rect ex­pe­ri­ence, com­mu­ni­ca­tions with vic­tims, their loved ones and ad­vo­cates are a real is­sue in Saint Lu­cia,” she told the

Mar­garet also wor­ried that the ev­i­dence may have been con­tam­i­nated but she had no way of con­firm­ing. “In the end I came to be­lieve that the case was never go­ing to come to trial, and so the cam­paign was born.”

“Jus­tice­forRoger” thrives be­cause of two is­sues: firstly that Mar­garet is one of many peo­ple on the jus­tice depart­ment’s wait­ing list, and se­condly be­cause Roger’s death and the seem­ing lack of at­ten­tion from au­thor­i­ties pose a threat to Saint Lu­cia’s tourism.

The cam­paign con­sists of a web­site, blog and so­cial me­dia ac­counts, most ac­tively Facebook. Mar­garet has made it her duty to ex­plain the wretched out­come of her last va­ca­tion in Saint Lu­cia. In re­turn her new­found sup­port­ers look for­ward to posted up­dates on the progress of the case, shar­ing words of en­cour­age­ment and help­ing in any way they can.

Staunch sup­port­ers of the cam­paign in­clude The Daily Tele­graph, Bri­tish Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (BBC), Yacht­ing World and other in­ter­na­tional jour­nal­ists, all of whom have writ­ten ex­ten­sively about the case. The mur­der of Roger Pratt has made head­lines in nu­mer­ous Bri­tish news­pa­pers. Of course, that’s with­out any sub­stan­tial help or sta­tis­tics from Saint Lu­cian au­thor­i­ties. Many of those jour­nal­ists have had to end their ar­ti­cles not­ing the lack of sup­port and com­ments from Saint Lu­cia.

“Jus­tice­forRoger” has reached its arms far across the planet, find­ing Mar­garet friends that she has not even met, and for this she has ex­pressed pro­found grat­i­tude. “They come from the UK, United States, and across the Caribbean,” she said, adding that Saint Lu­cians have been lend­ing her help­ing hands as well.

Lo­cal jus­tice per­son­nel have dis­ap­pointed Mar­garet many times, most re­cently when DPP Daarsrean Greene promised at Easter to take the case into his care, but lately com­mu­ni­ca­tion ap­pears to have ‘dried up’. De­spite this, she de­rives hope and strength from the peo­ple who are ac­com­pa­ny­ing her in her fight. In Mar­garet’s words, “I have been over­whelmed with kind­ness”.

Roger Pratt days be­fore masked rob­bers at­tacked him and his wife on their ves­sel.

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