The brutal St. Lucia murder of Roger Pratt and beating of his wife has left their family “shocked and shattered.”
The retired British businessman died after being beaten — while defending his wife from robbers — after their yacht was attacked while they sailed in St. Lucia, an island in the Caribbean.
The 62-year-old man died from drowning after being thrown overboard as he desperately attempted to protect his wife Margaret, 60 on Friday as the boat lay anchored.
The St. Lucia murder has shocked, not only his family, but is making headlines around the world for the brutality used by the robbers who stormed the yacht where the couple was enjoying a dream voyage.
According to authorities, Pratt and his wife were moored when the attackers storm the boat and his body was later found floating in the water. Margaret Pratt was injured during the robbery.
A senior government official spoke about the St. Lucia murder saying the autopsy on Pratt indicates he may have been unconscious when he was thrown into the water in the southern port of Vieux Fort.
The official cause of death was given as “asphyxia secondary to blunt force trauma”, police said in a statement.
The St. Lucia murder happened on Friday and by Saturday three suspects had been arrested near the scene of the crime and are expected to be charged later. Two more individuals were arrested Tuesday, police says.
Vernon Francois, the commissioner of the island’s police, told The Telegraph that the three men, all in their mid-twenties, were “cooperating with the investigation” and that the incident appears to have been intended to be a robbery that got out of control.
Margaret Pratt suffered black eyes and injuries to her face — which required stitches — after she struggled with the robbers during the attack that resulted in her husband’s murder in St. Lucia. She has not yet identified the arrested men in a line up, Francois says.
On Monday, she went to the mortuary in the capital city of Castries, to formally identify her husband’s body, accompanied by Lorne Theophilus, St. Lucia’s tourism minister
Theophilus described her as “one of the strongest and most courageous women I have ever met”.
“She’s very poised considering what she’s been through. She has almost in fact been trying to comfort me because I’ve been lamenting this incident over and over again.” he said.
Meawhile the family of the man murdered in St. Lucia cannot believe the turn of events following the couple’s much planned trip around the world.
— The Z Hub (@thezhub) January 19, 2014
The Pratts — who have no children — set off on their dream voyage in July aboard their yacht, “Magnetic Attraction.”
They sailed to Portugal and through the Caribbean before reaching St. Lucia about three weeks ago.
Margaret Pratt said in a touching statement:
“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 and that kindness is continuing during the period of the homicide investigation.”
Jenny Riley, Roger Pratt’s sister-in-law said it was a “shocking and tragic end” to the couple’s lifetime dream for which they had been preparing for years.
Riley spoke to her sister on Sunday and said she is doing well and has been released from the hospital for non-life threatening injuries, despite the devastating murder of her husband in St. Lucia.
She says Margaret Pratt was “badly beaten up but she will pull through”.
“It’s a shocking and tragic end to their dream and we’re all coming to terms with it as best we can. Margaret’s life has been turned upside down.”
The St. Lucia murder of Roger Pratt is concerning as St. Lucia, which has 200,000 inhabitants is visited by millions of tourist because of its beauty and reported safety.