British tourists raped in Barbados battle to free 'wrongly accused' man
Two British women who were raped while on holiday in Barbados have met the man accused of the crime for the first time - as they battle to clear his name.
Dr Rachel Turner, 30, from Hertfordshire, and retired teacher Diane Davies, 63, from Anglesey in Wales, were both attacked on the same beach path in 2010 within two days of each other.
Derick Crawford, 47, has already spent 19 months in prison awaiting trial, but both women insist he's innocent of the attack that took place in Holetown, St James.
After being introduced to Mr Crawford at his latest court hearing this week, Ms Turner, told The Sun: "If I was 99 per cent sure he was the wrong man, now I'm 100 per cent. Nothing was right. He was 10 or 15 years older than the man who attacked me and his build and voice were completely different.
"He told us the police beat him and put a bag over his head to make him sign a confession."
According to the BBC, she added: "The person who attacked me was in their early 30s. This person (Mr Crawford) was 47 and has a scar on his face, features that are completely different."
Mrs Davies said: "The attacker was at least 10 years younger than this man. He was taller, chubbier and had a round face. He (Mr Crawford) is nothing like him."
Mr Crawford said of the meeting: "It was emotional. It's brave of them to support me."
Despite the women's unanimous belief that he is not their attacker, officials intend to continue with the case. Dr Turner believes Barbados police are not concerned who they convict for the crime, as long as the case appears to have been solved.
She said: "I don't want them to get away with it and the person who committed these crimes is still free and, of course, he might rape again."
Mrs Davies added: "The man who did do it is still out there and they (the police) are not attempting to find him. We are convinced they have arrested this man to protect the tourism industry. We are incensed by it all."
According to reports in the BBC and the Independent, the Royal Barbados Police (RBP) commissioner Darwin Dottin denied this is the case, and said in a statement: "The team of investigators who were tasked with investigating these assaults are firmly of the view that the evidence strongly supports the decision to arrest and charge Mr Crawford.
"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."
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