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British rape victims say wrong man caught

In one of the most unusual stories in recent years, two British women who were raped on a beach in western Barbados in late 2010 have paid their own way back to Barbados to tell local police that the man in custody is not the suspect who had assaulted them and they have even hired local attorneys to represent the accused in a bizarre twist that has left Bajan tongues wagging.

Retired school teacher Diane Davies, 63, and academic Rachel Turner, 30, a doctorate student lost their bid this week to represent their case to Police Chief Darwin Dottin because the police department is convinced they have the right man in custody and has flatly declined their request to meet and review the case saying it would “be improper” because the case is already before the courts.

The two women say that they had a long list of questions for investigators in the case as they are adamant that laborer Derick Crawford, 48, is not the culprit who had attacked them separately on the Holetown, St. James beach two years ago. He has been on remand for nearly 20 months since his arrest.

“We are hopeful that he will meet with us,” said Davies, told local reporters in a case that has triggered debate about whether the women could be pursuing some weird agenda that has so far eluded detectives. On the other hand, the women say police might do well to consider the “fact’ that the real rapist might still be at large and could pounce on other unsuspecting tourists relaxing on the island of 300,000.

Davies said that she is also on the island to testify in the preliminary inquiry into Crawford’s case and will tell the prosecution that Crawford is not the man who had raped her.

So serious are the two about the alleged police blunder that they have waived their right to media anonymity and have come forward, granting interviews to local and international media, clearly unashamed of the fact that they are rape victims.

Incidentally, both women say their attacker appeared to have been in his 30s and not nearly 50 as in Crawford’s case.

The two even went to the court hearing this month to meet him and both say they are more than convinced they are on the right path as their attacker was heavier and had no scars like Crawford.

“I am so happy and relieved now I have finally met him. If I was 99 percent sure he was the wrong man, now I am 100 per cent. I have no doubts at all – this is not the man who attacked me,” Turner told the UK Express Newspaper.

Updated 5:01 pm, November 28, 2012:
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