Four men have been charged with the murder of English national, Roger Pratt. The incident occurred shortly before midnight on Friday January 17 in Vieux Fort. Three of the accused are twenty-one years old while the other is thirty-one. They are all from Bruceville, Vieux Fort.
The four men appeared before magistrate Robert Innocent at the second district court in Vieux Fort, on Friday January 24th 2014 and were all charged for the offenses of murder and robbery. They were later remanded into custody at the Bordelais Correctional Facility. The next court date is scheduled for February 4th 2014 at the Second District Court in Vieux Fort.
The four are accused of murdering the retired British businessman during what is being described by some, as a robbery gone awry on a yacht in Vieux Fort. Roger Pratt, 62, was killed and his wife Magaret injured when a gang ambushed their yacht on that fateful night. It was previously reported that the couple came under attack by the men who were brandishing guns and knives, but Mrs. Pratt has since indicated that she saw no knives or guns during the assault. Roger Pratt’s lifeless body was later fished out of the water after the men had fled the scene.
On Monday January 20, a post mortem examination was performed on the body of Roger Pratt and the results indicated that he had died as a result of asphyxia secondary to blunt force trauma.
Following the incident, the police brought in three individuals for questioning. By Monday January 20 that number had climbed to five. However only four have been charged so far in what police are describing as “an active investigation.”
Apart from being accused of causing the death of Pratt the four men are linked to stealing a fishing boat, believe to have been used to gain access to the Pratt’s yacht as well as a sum of cash and valuables.
The incident has drawn strong condemnation from the Saint Lucian Government and tourism authorities who continue to vow to make the island safe for locals and visitors alike.
The Pratt’s Journey to Saint Lucia started last July in Lowestoft, Suffolk England and had first taken them to Portugal, Spain, The Canary Islands and Martinique before making landfall at Rodney Bay late December. They celebrated Mrs. Pratt’s 60th birthday just over two weeks ago and had planned to sail south to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines next.