Now police must hunt down the man who DID rape us: Two British women call for new investigation after seeing suspect they said was innocent finally cleared
Derick Crawford was accused of raping the two women two years ago
The October 2010 attacks were identical and carried out two days apart
Both alleged victims said Crawford wasn't the man who attacked them
They claim authorities on the island were more concerned with protecting its reputation as a tourist's paradise than investigating the sex attacks
23:25 GMT, 13 December 2012
A man accused of raping two British women in Barbados has been cleared of all charges after the victims protested his innocence.
Dr Rachel Turner, 30, and Diane Davies, 63, were convinced Derick Crawford was not the man who attacked them.
Mr Crawford had already spent 18 months behind bars after being wrongly arrested in May 2011.
Victims: Derick Crawford, who was cleared of rape, with Dr Rachel Turner (right) and Diane Davies (middle)
Dr Rachel Turner (centre) has struck up a friendship with Derick Crawford (left), the man accused of raping her. Turner and actress Hillary Heath were at Holetown Court after two charges of rape against the Barbadian man were dismissed
Cleared: Derick Crawford (right) in conversation with president of Barbados Bar Association Andrew Pilgrim outside the Holetown Court in Barbados
Dr Rachel Turner, from Hertfordshire, and Diane Davies, from North Wales, were raped within days of each other in Barbados in 2010
But yesterday, after Dr Turner gave
evidence for a second time, the courts finally accepted the women's
protestations and the island's director of public prosecutions ordered
that the charges be dropped.
The women were assaulted within days
of each other in 2010 in almost identical attacks when they were dragged
off the same remote beach path and raped in a deserted hotel building.
But after Mr Crawford was arrested,
university researcher Dr Turner and retired primary school teacher Mrs
Davies told police that he bore no resemblance to their attacker.
They maintained that their rapist was
ten to 15 years younger and had a different voice, build and facial
features. Police claimed they had a confession from Mr Crawford, 47,
something he says was extracted through torture.
Yesterday, Dr Turner emerged from the
courthouse, in the parish of St James, with Mr Crawford by her side.
Criticising the police handling of the case, she said: 'It was a total
sham. I told the hearing that I am convinced this was not the man who
'I'm glad the case has been dismissed
against Mr Crawford, but there are a lot of questions which still need
to be answered. I would like to see an investigation into this
Savage: Mrs Davies' face was bruised and swollen after the attack, which left her with a broken collarbone and ribs
Dr Turner, from Letchworth,
Hertfordshire, moved to Barbados after studying for a PhD in tropical
coastal management and holds a research post at the University of the
She said: 'I want to know if Mr
Crawford may have even been beaten when his statement was taken by the
police. The circumstances surrounding the non-existing evidence have to
be known and we want them made public.'
Widower Mrs Davies, speaking from her
home in Anglesey, Wales, told the Mail: 'I am delighted that Derick has
been cleared and proved that what we have been saying all along is true.
'But this is only the first step. What
we want now is for the police in Barbados to admit they have made a
mistake and to say they are going to go all out to find the real
Last month Mrs Davies, who was raped while on holiday, flew to Barbados to give evidence at one of three preliminary hearings.
While there, she met Mr Crawford for the first time after the two women helped to secure bail.
The grandmother said: 'We have been
saying for almost two years that they had the wrong man and for that
whole time they have ignored us. It is so wrong that it has gone on for
Mr Crawford, who lived with his mother
and brother before his arrest, declined to speak after the ruling
yesterday, but spent 30 minutes outside court thanking Dr Turner.
He has previously thanked the 'very
brave' women for waiving their anonymity and fighting for his release.
His lawyer described them as 'two very determined English ladies'.
Mr Crawford was represented by Andrew
Pilgrim, president of the Barbados Bar Association, only after actress
Hilary Heath heard about the case and paid his legal fees.
Meeting: Rachel Turner (left) and Diane Davies (centre) met Derick Crawford (right) outside the court in Holetown, Barbados
Face-to-face: Hilary Heath (left) also met with Derick Crawford along with Rachel Turner and Diane Davies. The three British women paid for an attorney to represent Mr Crawford
Mrs Heath, 66, an addiction
counsellor, was raped at knifepoint when a masked intruder broke into
her Barbados home in 2004. Afterwards, she made a formal complaint about
the police's poor attempts to catch her attacker.
The two latest victims believe police
rushed to charge Mr Crawford to limit the damage to the isle's image as a
Royal Barbados Police Commissioner
Darwin Dottin said yesterday the force had 'an excellent reputation in
the law enforcement community and is highly regarded'.
He added: '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.'
Convinced: Rachel Turner and Diane Davies said police ignored their insistence that Derick Crawford is not the man who attacked them
Speaking out: The women have waived their right to anonymity to speak out as they believe the real rapist is still at large
Dark side of paradise: Mrs Davies was dragged from a path near this beach in exclusive Holetown, Barbados