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 STAR.
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”.