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‘Cops not fair’

President of the Bar Association of Barbados, Andrew Pilgrim.

The Royal Barbados Police Force is sticking to its position, that officers arrested and charged the right man in connection with the sexual assault of two British visitors in October 2010.

Earlier this month, a local magistrate dismissed the case against former accused Derrick Crawford, after the two women refused to give evidence against him and even hired a lawyer to defend the man, insisting police had the wrong man.

But Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin informed a news conference this morning that, while his administration regretted and was sorry about the unfortunate happening, there was nothing which impugned the investigations of his officers in reaching the conclusion that Crawford was justifiably arrested and charged in April last year for the alleged rape of the women.

Tonight, however, Crawford’s lawyer, Andrew Pilgrim, expressed “disgust” with the comments of the commission, stating that while he expected the chief to say they would get to the bottom of what occurred, it was clear the police were instead “circling the wagons to protect their own”.

In response, Pilgrim warned he was in possession of information on the matter that could embarrass the force, and he was prepared to release it if the police continued along their current path.

In any event, he noted that they would reserve the right to file a lawsuit for defamation against the commissioner over his statements today.

Dottin insisted that it was not true the force sought to protect the reputation of lawmen over the rights of the victims in the assault case. He revealed why the force believed the victims publicly said Crawford was not the person who raped them

“We have drawn some conclusions, we have looked at the files and some other evidence and information available to us; and we have drawn some of our conclusions,” the police chief added.

He drew reference to “significant” research which his investigators had done, mainly academic literature from out of the US, on what is called cross racial issues.

“There are several experiments that show, people are recognising the faces of persons of their own race, rather than a different race. I’m not saying in this case, that this actually happened,” he noted.

Dottin suggested that the real reason the case was dropped was because the two victims decided not to give any evidence against the accused, the proceedings in the magistrate’s court was aimed at making out a prima facie case and that oral as well as written evidence was required to prosecute the case. He said the police also had information which led them to conclude they had the right man. (EJ)†

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