Four men guilty of killing Briton in the Caribbean on round the world dream yachting holiday – Telegraph.co.uk

Four men have been convicted of killing a British businessman after boarding his yacht and beating him unconscious before pushing him overboard off the Caribbean island of St Lucia.

Roger Pratt, 62, was murdered in 2014 while on a round the world voyage with his wife, Margaret, on their boat Magnetic Attraction.

The retired business consultant was beaten so badly he suffered brain damage before being left to drown off the southern port of Vieux Fort. He had been trying to protect his wife after the men clambered aboard with the aim of stealing laptops in their violent robbery.

A jury at St Lucia High Court Jury found Jeromine Jones, Richie Kern, and Kervin Devaux guilty of murder, and Fanis Joseph guilty of manslaughter, a lesser conviction because he had sent a lifebuoy to Mr Pratt after he was pushed in the water.

Mrs Pratt, who was also injured in the attack and started a campaign called Justice for Roger, yesterday welcomed the verdicts.

In a statement she said: I am relieved that after more than six years of waiting, we finally have justice for Roger, who was a wonderful man with a big smile and a great love of life. Nothing can bring him back, but with todays verdict I can now start moving on with my life, knowing that justice has been done.

She thanked the jury for its careful consideration of the evidence, as well as police who had worked tirelessly to bring the case to trial and the people of St Lucia who have shown me great kindness since Roger's murder.

The trial had lasted six weeks and heard from Mrs Pratt, a pathologist, police and a psychologist, among others.

The men will be sentenced in April after pre-sentence reports have been submitted to the court.

St Lucia promised to tackle its high murder rate after Bob Hathaway, 66, became the third British expat killed on the island in just five years. Mr Hathaway, a yacht designer originally from Wiltshire but who had lived on the island since 2001, was found dead in January last year.

In 2014, Oliver Gobat, 38, a millionaire hotelier originally from Surrey, was found dead after being shot twice in the head in his car.

The St Lucian population of 179,000, which includes several thousand expatriates, suffers one of the worst murder rates in the world. Around 19 out of every 100,000 are murdered each year, a rate nearly 20 times that of the UK. Police recorded 43 homicides in 2018.

The overwhelming majority of the fatalities are locals, many being the victims of a violent drug trade in which St Lucia and its Caribbean neighbours are transit points for cocaine heading from Latin America to Europe or the US. Yet nearly every year, a tourist or expatriate is also caught up in the violence.

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Four men guilty of killing Briton in the Caribbean on round the world dream yachting holiday - Telegraph.co.uk

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