Trio to face Briton death charge

Hillingdon Times: Roger Pratt, 62, died and his wife Margaret was injured after three armed men climbed aboard their yacht moored off St Lucia Roger Pratt, 62, died and his wife Margaret was injured after three armed men climbed aboard their yacht moored off St Lucia

Police are expected soon to charge three men held after a Briton died defending his wife when attackers boarded their boat in the Caribbean.

Roger Pratt, 62, a retired engineer, died and his wife Margaret was injured after three armed men climbed aboard their yacht moored off the south coast of St Lucia on Friday.

Mrs Pratt, who retired as a management consultant to go on the long-planned around-the-world holiday, celebrated her 60th birthday just days before the incident.

The couple, from Moreton Paddox near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, had planned to set sail for the next stage of their journey the day before the attack, but were prevented from leaving by a bureaucratic hold-up.

Mrs Pratt was badly beaten but her injuries were not life threatening and she is recovering well, having returned to the couple's yacht.

St Lucia police have said officers were called to reports of a robbery on the Pratts' yacht, the Magnetic Attraction, while moored in Vieux Fort on the island's south coast at about midnight.

"Officers received information three armed men had boarded the vessel, and attacked and injured the occupants before they fled," a statement said.

"Within minutes of the robbers fleeing, Margaret went in search of her husband and found him floating in the nearby waters.

"Roger was retrieved and transported to St Jude Hospital via ambulance, along with his wife."

Mr Pratt was pronounced dead on arrival while Mrs Pratt was discharged after treatment.

The couple set off on their global journey from Lowestoft last July, keeping family and friends at home updated on their progress through an online blog.

According to the blog, the couple were preparing to set out on the next stage of their journey from the island's western harbour town of Soufriere on Thursday, but instead sailed farther south to Fort Vieux because of an administration hold-up with port officials.

Authorities on the island said today that three people were detained within 48 hours of the incident and p olice are expected to lay formal charges against them shortly.

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