Norwich widow fears those who killed Roger Pratt in St Lucia three years ago may escape justice
- Credit: Archant
It has been more than 1,000 days since Roger Pratt was murdered while on a dream holiday to St Lucia in 2014.
But his widow Margaret now fears the four men accused of his killing may escape justice due to mistakes made by local police.
The retired couple, who lived in Norwich, set off to the Caribbean island in July 2013 aboard their yacht, Magnetic Attraction.
But on January 17, 2014 - ten days after Mrs Pratt celebrated her 60th birthday - it all ended in tragedy.
Four men boarded their vessel as it was anchored in Vieux Fort in St Lucia in what appeared to be an attempted robbery.
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Mrs Pratt, who is now aged 63, said the raid happened shortly after they had both gone to bed at 10pm.
'We heard a noise above us, and we went to have to look,' she said. 'I remember saying to Roger 'be careful'.'
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As they went to investigate, the couple, who met in the Norfolk Broads, were then set upon by the attackers.
Mr Pratt, 62, was beaten in a 'sustained attack' and suffered brain damage before going overboard unconscious.
Meanwhile, his wife said she was 'pulverised' by repeated blows to her face and body.
'They were asking 'where is the ******* money?',' Mrs Pratt said. 'But when Roger went over the side, they said something in Patois [local dialect], dropped everything and left.'
Unable to find her husband in the water, Mrs Pratt quickly broadcast a mayday call on the boat's radio.
Several local vessels responded to her broadcast and began an immediate search of the area.
But it was not long until Mr Pratt's body was found face down in the water. A pathologist gave his cause of death as 'asphyxia secondary to blunt force trauma'.
Despite police collecting evidence and arresting four local men, Mrs Pratt now fears the prosection case is at risk of unravelling.
The former accountant said she was told by the St Lucian director of public prosecutions that DNA evidence had been contaminated.
She said defence lawyers also planned to challenge confessions made by the suspects in the days after the murder.
They would argue that police did not give the accused access to a lawyer - invalidating their confessions, she said.
'The police were the first people onto the boat, and they arrived as I left with my husband's body,' Mrs Pratt said.
'There were no external reasons why the evidence should have been contaminated at all.
'There was strong DNA evidence against one of the guys who was pulverising me, because he was wearing a mask and I pulled it off.'
When the four suspects were arrested, one was also found to have a bite mark matching Mrs Pratt's teeth.
Three years on and Mrs Pratt, who still lives in Norwich, said the events of that evening were still with her.
'It is one of the focuses of my life,' she said. 'People have said will a trial bring closure? And I suspect not, but it will bring an end to this campaign.'
She believed raising public awareness could be one of the only ways to ensure the case still went ahead.
'St Lucia is worried about its image as a tourist destination.' Mrs Pratt said.
'By having this campaign, we hope it will encourage authorities to give the case more priority.'
The couple first met on the Norfolk Broads in 1971 and were married in September 1976.
They were both members of the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht club in Lowestoft and had no children.
Mrs Pratt described her husband as 'phenomenally fit' and someone who was extremely focused.
He worked as a senior engineer with Jaguar Land Rover until his retirement in 2005.
'There was never anything that he could not do,' Mrs Pratt said. 'He could turn his hand to anything.
'He was so happy and just loved to sail. He was a great man.'
In 1991, they purchased their 41-foot yacht to fulfil their love of sailing and in 2013 crossed the Atlantic, before arriving in St Lucia in January 2014.
This newspaper has contacted the relevant authorities in St Lucia, but is yet to receive a response.
• Are you fighting for justice? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.
• For more information, visit www.justiceforroger.com