Is Derick Crawford the Barbados rapist? Two victims say police arrested wrong man to sooth tourism!

Rape victim Diane Davies: “Barbados Police arrested the wrong man.”

Barbados Police so anxious for an arrest that anyone will do?

Barbados Police primed a victim prior to an identification procedure: “When asked to attend an identity parade last May, the victim was warned by police before even entering the room that the arrested rapist had changed his appearance.”

DNA tests non-existent in 3rd world Barbados?

“The truth is that if a woman  is raped in Barbados, she is unlikely to get the support she needs. There are almost no procedures in place and the police are way behind in how they tackle crime.”

“They have made no effort to find him. That is the crux of the matter. How many more cases have there been that we won’t have heard about?”

… British tourist to Barbados and rape victim Diane Davies

Derick Crawford has been in jail for two years for the rapes of Diane Davies and Rachel Turner. The two victims say that he didn’t do it and that the Barbados Police have charged an innocent man. The victims also say that the Royal Barbados Police Force is incompetent and have arrested a convenient suspect to clear the crime and protect the tourism reputation of the country.

That’s strong talk from two rape victims – not just one – but what does the evidence say? What do the DNA tests reveal?

Ahhhhhh…. that’s rather embarrassing. You see, Barbados Police don’t collect and test DNA samples when investigating rapes. In this day and age that failure is probably gross negligence, but hey… we’re not really a first world country so don’t hold that against us. Our police have a veneer of professional competence but when you get right down to it, the Royal Barbados Police Force is the last place that citizens go when they want something done in a competent and professional manner.

Two British women raped on Barbados have begun an extraordinary campaign to help clear the man accused of the attacks. They tell Terri Judd of their search for justice on the Caribbean island

So now Bajans and Bajan tourism have to endure the worldwide spectacle of two rape victims proclaiming that the Barbados Police are not only incompetent, but are knowingly proceeding with charges against an innocent man because it is convenient for tourism.

“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’,” said Mrs Heath. “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.”

Further Reading

The wrong man: Two British women waive anonymity to help clear alleged rapist

Two British women raped on Barbados have begun an extraordinary campaign to help clear the man accused of the attacks. They tell Terri Judd of their search for justice on the Caribbean island

When Derick Crawford is led into the dock of a Barbados magistrates’ court on Tuesday, he will stand accused by police of being a “dangerous felon”, the perpetrator of the particularly brutal daylight rapes of two British women.

Watching on from the public gallery will be one of his alleged victims. Yet Rachel Turner, a 30-year-old academic from Hertfordshire will be there, not to condemn Mr Crawford, but to support a man she is convinced is innocent.

The university researcher has no idea who this 47-year-old Barbadian is, she simply knows that he is not the man who dragged her off a beach path and violently attacked her. His face is unrecognisable, his age is wrong but most acutely his voice is not the one imprinted on her memory.

Back in Britain, Diane Davies, a 63-year-old widow and retired primary school teacher who suffered an identical attack just two days after Dr Turner, is equally adamant that the police have got the wrong man.

Frustrated that their protestations have fallen on deaf ears, both women have taken the rare and courageous step of waving a sex attack victim’s automatic right to anonymity in order to make their objection public, believing their real rapist is still at large.

“They have made no effort to find him. That is the crux of the matter. How many more cases have there been that we won’t have heard about?” said Mrs Davies yesterday.

Backing their cause is Hilary Heath, 66 – a renowned actress in the 1970s and now an addiction counsellor – who endured a similar rape while working for a charity on the Caribbean island eight years ago. She was so struck by how the women’s descriptions of apparent police inertia and incompetence matched her own that she agreed to fund Mr Crawford’s defence.

As a result, Andrew Pilgrim, president of the Barbados Bar Association, will represent Derick Crawford when he appears at a preliminary hearing at the magistrates’ court in Holetown to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

Dr Turner arrived in Barbados two years ago to take up an environmental research post at the University of the West Indies, just as Mrs Davies returned as a tourist to the holiday island she had deliberately selected for its reputation as a safe haven for tourists. Shortly after lunch one Saturday afternoon in October 2010, Dr Turner was walking down a narrow path to the beach when she heard a man running behind her. She was raped in a deserted hotel building before her attacker ran off.

Two days later, Mrs Davies was walking down the same path when she endured an identical rape; the grandmother from Anglesey was left with a broken collarbone and ribs.

The descriptions of the attacker given independently by both women were so similar that at one point they even mixed up the photo-fits they had helped to compose. Equally similar is their account of a police force that they say treated them with a callous lack of sympathy in the traumatic hours that followed and the dismissive nature with which their attempts to offer evidence were greeted.

Their treatment chimes loudly with Mrs Heath. As part of a master’s degree in mental health, she moved to Barbados 10 years ago to work as a counsellor at Verdun House, a charitable foundation which helps drug addicts after they leave prison. She was asleep at home in 2004 when she was raped by an attacker who eventually pleaded guilty to raping her and five other women.

With the help of QC and criminologist Dr Barrie Irving, she compiled a file on her case seven years ago, which she sent to the Barbados Police Complaints Authority (PCA). Mr Justice LeRoy Inniss, chairman of the PCA, said yesterday that Mrs Heath’s case had been investigated, and insisted: “The Authority has since concluded its interviews and investigations and has approved a response which will be sent to Ms Heath very shortly.” Yet by early last year, Mrs Heath was so frustrated that she decided to waive her anonymity and publicly complain that little had changed since her rape – that the authorities in Barbados were doing nothing to warn women of the dangers of sex attacks and failing to investigate them properly.

“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’,” said Mrs Heath. “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.”

Just weeks after she went to the press with her concerns, the police in Barbados announced that the attacker in the case of Dr Turner and Mrs Davies had been caught.

“It was a very strange coincidence that this happened just after my article. It was weird that they suddenly had the man,” said Mrs Heath.

The rapist, police alleged, was Derick Crawford, whose face had appeared in the Bajan Reporter. A £1,600 (BBD $5,000) reward was offered to catch this “dangerous felon” with a “bulbous nose, small flat ears and wide-set eyes”.

Yet neither Dr Turner nor Mrs Davies recognised the man in the photograph. When asked to attend an identity parade last May, the former was warned by police before even entering the room that he had changed his appearance.

“The first thing I said was he is not among these people. I was convinced if I saw him, I would recognise him,” explained Dr Turner, adding that the first preliminary court hearing compounded her doubts. “When I heard him speak I just knew then it definitely was not him. He is the wrong age and wrong build. His face is all wrong and his voice is all wrong.”

Mrs Davies insists her every attempt to formally identify her attacker has been rebuffed by the Royal Barbados Police Force. “They have refused dogmatically to let me identify him. I have asked over and over again.” She added: “I have stated categorically that is not the man who attacked me. He is older and his features are totally different. We both, independently of each other, said he was in his early to mid-thirties.”

Both women have written to the Commissioner of Police and Director of Public Prosecutions to complain.

Yesterday Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin acknowledged that both Dr Turner and Mrs Davies had expressed their concerns but added: “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. In fact the rate of victimisation is negligible.”

But Dr Tuner said she remained worried that the real attacker was still at large: “It is not so much that I am scared myself, knowing that the rapist is still out there, it is that I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

Mrs Davies agrees: “I am a very independent person but I am never going to be able to walk on to a foreign beach without looking over my shoulder all the time. I can’t believe it happened to me in exactly the same place, at the same time, two days later. It makes me angry.

“They just hope we will go away and forget about it but we won’t. We feel too strongly. I feel like we have been banging our heads against a brick wall but people ought to know how they treat tourists over there.”

22 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law

22 responses to “Is Derick Crawford the Barbados rapist? Two victims say police arrested wrong man to sooth tourism!

  1. First world pretenders. This incompetence will not change, so victims, please don’t hold ur breath.

  2. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926-2012 AND SEE MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS

    Beatrice Henry and Violet Beckles 2 more rape Victims and another 270,000 Bajans of her Estate and all the crime that goes with a Massive Fraud.
    No worry they will get you for a tail light .

  3. From the first time that the rape victims claimed that the accused was not their attacker, he should have been released from jail forthwith. There is no excuse for holding this man another second. They should have woken up a judge if the information came to light at night that is how serious jailing an innocent is.

  4. caribeye

    Sickening to think the victims of the attack INSIST the man being held is NOT the rapist and yet our “Protect and Reassure” men STILL hold him! COP Dottin, do some serious reflecting. on your institution’s dogmatic stubbornness. Are you a man who is open to other ideas? If so, your institution will have no choice but to follow your lead-or NOT! When will you insist that DNA evidence be used in rape cases? What about the evidence of those who suffered the attacks? It contradicts the nice evidence box created and believed by the RBPF so why is the accused being held? We all agree Mr. Franklyn, he should have been immediately released on the attack victims’ evidence.

  5. rastaman

    My wife’s cousin and fiend were recently on holiday here in Barbados and had their camera and money stolen while at the beach. They got a good look at the thief and reported it to the police station.who took them to see if they could identify anyone.They did but to this day no one has been arrested.

  6. illegally detained and freedom denied!

    There seems to be a clear pattern here with the abuse of the expected freedom of all individuals to fair and impartial hearings and basic human rights.

    The holding and imprisonment of Derik Crawford unlawfully without basic identification by the victims and DNA evidence seems to be unimaginable!

    Two years, is about the same time the government has unlawfully overheld Raul Garcia.

  7. 189

    Has anybody of any importance in Barbados heard of transparency, fairness, judicial process? … seems not. No-one in this case has been treated fairly but it seems as long as some people get good salaries and status they can sleep easy in their beds.

  8. Peltdownman

    Rape is not taken seriously in Barbados. Simple.

  9. robert ross

    Yes, it all sounds shocking doesn’t it. But what, I wonder, is the evidence that this man IS the rapist? Does he have means? If not, then isn’t rape legally aided? But in either case, what has his attorney been doing for two years?

  10. bk

    Read on the Nations website this morning that Commissioner of Police, Darwin Dottin, says that they have evidence pointing to the man currently held. LOL. So the victims do not identify the guy as the rapist, but the RBPF do, LOL SMH. What excellent police work, excellent!
    Stupse, Banana Republic Cops

  11. de hood

    @bk

    I presume you really meant to say, “Stupse, excellent Keystone Cops case solving”? Maybe it was “Constable Broomes” in charge of the investigation?

  12. yatiniteasy

    Apart from anything else, it seems as if the RBPF and Mr Dottin have already tried and convicted the man they arrested. Case closed as far as they are concerned..never mind the victims have both categorically denied that he is the man who raped them.What a travesty of justice.

    To make matters worse Mr Dottin in today`s Nation is said to have stated that the British actress (who was herself raped in Barbados some years ago) is “of interest” to the Police because she is paying for the accused`s defense lawyer, and is trying to seek justice in this case.

    RPPF…Go tackle the “known” drug pushers in St Lawrence Gap and on the beaches of Barbados.Go tackle the Boscobell Gang who seem to operate with impunity , even though they have been reported by many people.

    Stop illegal car racing on highways at night.

    Stop youngsters from doing motorcycle wheelies, especially on the ABC highway.

    And please, try to find the rapist of the two women .

  13. robert ross

    ON RAUL GARCIA

    One month ago the judge hearing the Application for habeas corpus adjourned the case for a month in order for the Government to get its act together. Today was set for the hearing

    On inquiry I found out this morning that the judge had forgotten she was going on vacation and had already fixed a new date: 11 December. Now I ask you: how could she forget she was going on vacation not least because she would have had to deal with as many outstanding matters as she could before going. All very odd. Begins to sound like a Benghazi-gate situation.

  14. Jonathan

    This story is currently one of the featured stories on the front page of the BBC News website (UK edition, at any rate): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-20432825

  15. Rastaman

    @yatiniteasy: And catch the ones now doing wheelies on the new overpass,so i hear.

  16. 10

    This case is indicative of what is happening throughout the judicial system of Barbados – both in the criminal and civil spheres. On the civil side there is Jennifer Edwards, Solicitor General, of whom one is rightly surprised that she is able to find the location of the office in the morning. Yet, this high level legal official offers legal advice to the Government of Barbados, and as is known from the Myrie matter, costs the said Government millions of dollars by virtue of her inept and uninformed approach to the practice of law.

  17. Pingback: Barbados Police competence in spotlight as ‘wrongful’ rape charges explode in worldwide news | Barbados Free Press

  18. Very sad. Again I have a lot of admiration for the victims who have the courage to not be vindictive toward the accused. The police will never want to admit to their 3rd world form of policing and the accused obviously is not related to any of them or anyone considered somebody or he would have been released long ago. Local victims as young as 2 years old and as old as 80 is always doubly victimized by the police attitude that its the victims fault and they see no need to collect evidence, sorry it took so long to expose this nastiness where rape is seen as a spectator sport and victims both male and female are continually victimized and treated with disdain. Young males are also raped on a daily basis by grown men, again with no recourse. Can’t understand why this has been allowed to continue in a country posing as first world.

  19. Maybe if they stopped practicing such disgusting levels of nepotism they will see enough clarity to straighten out the system.

  20. Concerned

    Definately “Protect and Reassure” gone wrong….protect who,from what or who, and reassure who of what….This is very BAD on our legal system….yet, a man with a spliff just to do whatever to himself, gets more attention than such a damaging situation……Nothing amuses me more than the way things are done….Pilgrim…what are you doing about this man’s rights, and the fact that even the victims says he is not that man….He should have been released immediately, charges dropped, and search for the right man…..don’t you think a woman would know who did NOT rape them?

  21. G

    Having been stabbed on a Barbados beach ten yrs ago and had dealings with the police and Law process via the holetown court system in so much as they had the right perpetrator after I performed a citizens arrest, With a witness making a statement and evidence ie the knife used.I waited two and a half years to hear from the courts to see what the outcome was of the attackers court case, as I had no communication from the authority’s at all during this time I wrote to them and I was instructed to appear as a witness to give evidence even though I had written to them explaining that I had no way of funding myself to get back out to Barbados and pay for my costs etc I sent them a covering letter instead. I never heard anything back from the courts although I sent more correspondence to try and find out the outcome of the case but to no avail as far as I know the attacker walked free? The point I am trying to make here is after all the dealings with the police and authority’s I truly believe that they cover up and stifle information and keep attacks on tourists or even incidents that happen in tourist areas under wraps so it keeps their crime figures down against tourists and thus gives a cleaner / safer picture of Barbados as a tourist haven ! The Local press seem to be involved in the corruption also as for example there was a murder in the St Lawrence Gap area a highly populated area for tourists, I could not find any mention of this in any local news papers at all and this is just one example there are many ! It seems that any connection to tourism or any thing that is or could be deemed to make tourism suffer is definitely swept under the carpet as quick as they can do it.
    Barbados Is unfortunately run by a corrupt system you only have to ask the locals and visit a few times to see through the facade.

  22. Pingback: Discredited Barbados Police can’t shake the tourist rape case that won’t go away. | Barbados Free Press