the Daily Mail how she was raped in Barbados and the police did nothing to help her or find the criminal. She says that one of the reasons she chose Barbados as a vacation spot was its reputation for safety.
Here is the part of the article where she details the police treatment of her:
‘Three police officers arrived shortly afterwards. They told me to get in the car and they would drive me around to see if I could see the rapist. Their attitude was totally clinical and not one said any word of sympathy. I didn’t see him, and after about an hour I was taken to the local police station where I waited another hour before being driven to see the female police doctor.
‘The doctor dressed the wounds on my legs from being dragged over glass, took a DNA swab and told me I was very bruised internally. I was then driven back to the station and, to my horror, left sitting outside in the back of the police car on my own for 45 minutes. I was so terrified that the rapist, who had threatened to kill me if I went to the police, might walk by and see me that I didn’t dare get out and walk into the police station. Lots of people peered into the window to look at me, which was awful. The insensitivity of the police was breathtaking.
‘Eventually I was driven back to my apartment for half an hour to have a bath, but my shoulder was hurting so badly I couldn’t wash or even brush my hair. The police then took me to the local hospital, where an X-ray showed I had a broken collarbone and two cracked ribs. I was also given anti-viral tablets in case the rapist was HIV-positive and a hepatitis B injection.’ (Diane subsequently tested negative for HIV.)
‘While I was there, Joanne Carey from the British Consulate came to see me. She told me that the police had only just told her that another British woman, who was in her 20s, had been raped at the same spot two days earlier. I later discovered there are at least 55 known rapes on the island a year—13 in the past year in the spot where I was attacked.’
In fact, according to the Royal Barbados Police Force website, there were 169 incidents of rape, indecent assault and assault with intent to rape in 2010.
‘The next day at 5.30pm I was driven to the police station to give a statement,’ Diane continues. ‘I was questioned for five-and-a-half hours without being offered any food or drink in 86F [30C] heat. My questioner was a female police officer who plainly didn’t know what she was doing and kept asking me the same questions over and over again while she constantly checked a police manual.
‘By 11pm I was in agony with my shoulder and asked if I could go home, not least to take a painkiller. The officer turned to me and said, “It’s not easy for me, you know. I have to do my tour of duty after I have finished with you.” I was speechless at her lack of compassion.
‘Later on, I was again taken to the police station, this time for an identity parade. The rapist wasn’t there, which was lucky in one way as all the men were led right past me as they went out and could identify me.’
On another visit to the hospital, she was left in the casualty department while a victim-support officer went off to chat to her friends.
‘I was absolutely terrified and totally vulnerable about what might happen to me.’ She catches her breath. ‘Please put this in. People need to know how they treat their visitors in Barbados.’
She was being taken back to her condominium by police when they stopped at a shopping mall where she had to sit waiting while a female police officer went to buy a T-shirt….
‘Both the police and the Consulate are inept,’ Diane says. ‘I am so angry that no one has taken what happened to me seriously or realises the impact it has had on my life. My collarbone has never healed and living with it is a terrible reminder. I will no longer go abroad or go out in the evening, and wherever I walk during the day I am constantly looking anxiously over my shoulder.
‘I have submitted a complaint to the Police Complaints Authority in Barbados. Last week, after months, I received a reply from the chairman saying they can’t investigate my complaint because my case is pending before the courts. What nonsense. I was complaining about procedure, not the case itself. I’m going to keep on. I want justice and to know they haven’t dragged anyone off the street just to make a charge.
‘It is also hard to believe that throughout my experience no police officer or victim-support worker asked me if I was all right or showed any sympathy. All I was doing was walking to the sea at 2pm on a beautiful day. It never occurred to me that I could be raped close to a luxury estate on a paradise island yards from where celebrities stay. But if a 61-year-old can be raped, it is a dangerous place for women of any age.’