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Former High Commissioner says latest death of a British national here will revive UK interest in Saint Lucia’s justice system

Image of MP Ernest Hilaire

FORMER Saint Lucia High Commissioner in London, Dr Ernest Hilaire, has said that he is sure British interest in the criminal justice system here will be revived as a result of the death last Sunday of British national, Robert ‘Bob’ Hathaway.

Hilaire recalled at a news conference Monday that in the past there have been incidents where British nationals have been murdered in Saint Lucia.

Image of MP Ernest Hilaire
MP Ernest Hilaire

“We have had three or four in the past few years,” the former High Commissioner stated.

Hilaire, who is also a member of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) and the MP for Castries South, recalled that when he was High Commissioner, the murders represented a significant issue for the British government.

He made specific reference to the killing here of British nationals Roger Pratt and Oliver Gobat.

Gobat was killed in April 2014.

“Certainly in the case of the Gobat murder, there was an attempt made for the British to actually get involved to assist our police in terms of forensic evidence and ensuring that there was a thorough investigation,” Hilaire told reporters.

But he noted that there were limitations, in that the British government was asking the then government of Saint Lucia to ensure that if somebody was found and convicted, they would not be given the death penalty.

Asserting that the issue ‘went back and forth’, Hilaire said it demonstrated that the British government and the British public expect the highest standards of policing and forensic work to ensure that whoever is responsible for those acts are brought to justice.

“It has continued to be a sore spot with yet again another British national unfortunately and regrettably losing his life in Saint Lucia,” he stated.

“I think you will all agree that since 2016 the criminal justice system has deteriorated even more in Saint Lucia,” Hilaire declared.

“We heard talk that once there was a new DPP all those matters would be dealt with. We are going on to the second year of the DPP and we still have outstanding matters,” he observed.

According to the Castries South MP, it would be interesting to see, over the next few days, whether the Minister of National Security will actually address the public on how Saint Lucia will deal with this matter.

“Certainly, from our experience, it is always a matter of grave concern whenever a national — and in this case a British national — loses his life,” he asserted.

1 Comment

  1. And now, the blame game:- “………since 2016 the criminal justice system has deteriorated
    even more in St.Lucia.”

    My dear Sir, a life is a life be it British or non British, but in this respect, we have a problem.
    We still have on our books the death penalty for murder. I don’t know which of the two Justice
    systems that you favour. Saudi Arabians believe in hanging. The British first introduced the non
    Capital punishment after their own Policing system failed them, after hanging Timothy Evans in
    1950 by mistake. John Christie, a mass murderer was later hanged for killing his wife and Evans’s
    wife and baby plus others. After reading the book, I walked down 10 Rillington Place, Nottinghill
    London, W 11. I checked out the short Street and a cold streak ran down my Spine when I got to
    #10 Rillington Place. I don’t think the Brits have hanged anyone since, but that should not deter
    St.Lucia for carrying out what it is felt as Justice, be it British or non British.Don’t point your finger
    at this administration and people are tired of your failed politics. Everywhere you go, irrespective
    of the City, North America, Europe, South America, etc.etc.The system we once knew is now history.
    I believe in hanging but I know it wont change anything.All demons of hell are on the loose so look out.
    READ LUDOVIC KENNEDY’S BOOK ON THE SUBJECT. TITLED, # 10 RILLINGTON PLACE.( very sad )

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