A total of five suspects are in custody for the brutal killing of 62-year-old Roger Pratt while aboard his yacht that was anchored in St. Lucia.
Roger and his wife Margaret were on a round-the-world yachting adventure on their ship, the Magnetic Attraction, since June to celebrate her 60th birthday.
Police Commissioner Vernon Francois said the Pratts apparently heard noises outside the yacht and were attacked when they went to investigate. He said the attackers demanded money and other items and had used a stolen small boat to get to the yacht.
Margaret said they had been in St. Lucia for three weeks, getting ready to leave for Bequia before this happened.
Police said Margaret was the one who found her husband’s body floating in the water minutes after the attackers fled. She said her husband was not shot, contrary to some media reports. She was also treated for injuries at a local hospital, including facial stitches.
“There were no knives, no guns, although of course, considerable violence in the attack,” she said in a brief interview distributed by the government information service. “We’ve not felt unsafe in St. Lucia until the events of those final tragic minutes, and have had considerable kindness from very many people.”
The couple attempted to defend themselves during the violent attack, and sources from Vieux Fort region suggested that Margaret scratched one or more of the assailants faces, as well as biting a finger.
Roger was thrown into the sea by the attackers, who fled shortly after.
‘One of the suspects had deep bite marks on his finger and they all has scratches on their faces,’ said a local source from Bruce Ville.
Local reports suspect a notorious gang called the Pepper Yard Crew might be the attackers in this brutal murder.
‘They carry guns on their waist or in their hands in broad daylight to intimidate people, they are very feared,’ said a local who did not wish to be named.
Vernon Francois, the commissioner of the island’s police force, said: ‘This appears to have been intended as a robbery and went out of control.’
The five men are expected to be charged with murder in the coming days.
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