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Old 23-12-2012, 11:57   #1
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Angry In Prison in St Lucia

Eric Sommer, worldwide cruiser, was sued for murder and put to jail in May 2012 after he repelled an attack on his boat in St Lucia (lesser Antilles).
Although he daily claims for innocence, he got no judgement nor any foreseeable procedure.
His family, cruisers, in connection with the French embassy in St Lucia, urge to help Sommer in his fight for an equitable treatment.
This could happen to any visiting boat in this country.
St Lucia is very depending on tourism, especially cruising visitors, and the final destination of the ARC Rally, one of the prominent boat cruises in the world.
All actions are welcome, to let St Lucia authorities know that Sommer is not alone and that all individual cruisers are concerned.
Thank you for him.
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Old 23-12-2012, 12:31   #2
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

Is there a link to the full story?
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Old 23-12-2012, 12:45   #3
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

From my quick Google (and Google Translate! - mostly in french) seems that he was boarded at night, had a struggle with the intruder who was then thrown into the water - and he then swam ashore (200 metres?) and later collapsed and died, in the presence of the Police.

Seems that the intruder was known to the police as a drug dealer / robber etc.

Skipper apparently unaware that the fella had died when interviewed by the Police so admitted the fight (no mention of weapons!)......and has been locked up ever since.

Of course as a foreigner (and with a boat) he is regarded as a flight risk - and that the wheels of justice move slowly everywhere (over here a murder etc trial don't happen quickly either)........a lesson for all of us?

Some of the above may not be entirely correct, either from my understanding of what was reported - or what is claimed not being entirely true..........
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Old 23-12-2012, 13:17   #4
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Is there a link to the full story?
Here links to 2 newspaper info (after Google translate) :

Google*Traduction

Google*Traduction
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Old 23-12-2012, 13:24   #5
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
From my quick Google (and Google Translate! - mostly in french) seems that he was boarded at night, had a struggle with the intruder who was then thrown into the water - and he then swam ashore (200 metres?) and later collapsed and died, in the presence of the Police.

Seems that the intruder was known to the police as a drug dealer / robber etc.

Skipper apparently unaware that the fella had died when interviewed by the Police so admitted the fight (no mention of weapons!)......and has been locked up ever since.

Of course as a foreigner (and with a boat) he is regarded as a flight risk - and that the wheels of justice move slowly everywhere (over here a murder etc trial don't happen quickly either)........a lesson for all of us?

Some of the above may not be entirely correct, either from my understanding of what was reported - or what is claimed not being entirely true..........
David, we posted at the same time... Thanks for this abstract.
Actually we don't know much about real facts but we all should feel concerned on what can happen after an attack on our boats.
Also it is not bad that local authorities know they are looked at, since their economy relies mostly on tourism.
Discussions and reactions are welcome : be noisy, anyway !
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Old 23-12-2012, 13:43   #6
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

I'd suggest getting the full story and if a grave injustice has been done, and it certainly sounds like it has, start a campaign to have the ARC change their finish line to another country. They wouldn't actually have to do it but having them threaten such a thing would definitely get St Lucia's attention. Not sure how helpful petitions or a handful of cruisers saying they wont go there anymore would be really. If you've got his government applying pressure, that's great, some media attention to the story would also be helpful. Anything that embarrasses or hits the economy often works best.
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Old 23-12-2012, 13:52   #7
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

What is their side of the story? Most journalists are not exactly well known for trying to get both sides.
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Old 23-12-2012, 13:54   #8
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

Links for the ARC :

mail@worldcruising.com

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Old 23-12-2012, 14:41   #9
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

Is there any indication that local people spend less time in jail prior to being tried in similar cases? Perhaps in St Lucia it simply takes that long?

Anyways, a most unfortunate incidence. I hope French diplomatic forces in Martinique (all stories in French so I assume the guy is a French citizen) are monitoring the case and that they make sure their man is not treated unfairly.

I think the lesson is: if you are in a struggle, and you win, still RUN!

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Old 23-12-2012, 14:50   #10
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

Certainly takes that long in Australia for a murder case to get to court.
If you are on remand then there is a risk of flight, as David said.
Thats justice.

Remember self defense (in old English common law countires as St Lucia) needs to be proportionate, raesonable and used only non deadly force to prevent an attack.

This is why our bretheran in the Gun Threads are so toally wrong with their attitude of blowing away anyone who gets on board.

This case may be interesting. The facts, son, we need the facts.
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Old 23-12-2012, 15:08   #11
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

The post mortem is important here... cause of death... blow to the head or system failure due to exertion/secondry drowning..
To me it appears as manslaughter (possibly) or death by mis-adventure... more likely... but whatever he's gonna be inside for a while till it gets sorted. Biggest danger is the relatives and connections if the dead guys a local...
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Old 23-12-2012, 17:01   #12
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

Just reminds me that there is another place I'll cross off my list of places to visit
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Old 23-12-2012, 17:10   #13
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Just reminds me that there is another place I'll cross off my list of places to visit
Oh gosh. St. Lucia is one of our favorite places in the West Indies. Would hate to cross it off our list of places we hope to visit again.
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Old 23-12-2012, 17:15   #14
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post

This is why our bretheran in the Gun Threads are so toally wrong with their attitude of blowing away anyone who gets on board.

Yeah, unless there is a good wind to blow them out of the harbor.......or harms way
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Old 23-12-2012, 17:44   #15
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Re: In prison in St Lucia

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Certainly takes that long in Australia for a murder case to get to court.
If you are on remand then there is a risk of flight, as David said.
Thats justice.

Remember self defense (in old English common law countires as St Lucia) needs to be proportionate, raesonable and used only non deadly force to prevent an attack.

This is why our bretheran in the Gun Threads are so toally wrong with their attitude of blowing away anyone who gets on board.

This case may be interesting. The facts, son, we need the facts.
True, we need more facts. That is why it is better to hold opinion for the time being. Now, what constitutes "non-deadly force" in this incident? Apparently the intruder went overboard and swam ashore where he expired. What caused his death is unknown to us. To assume he died from trauma delivered by the boater then to use that to deliver opinion on not keeping firearms is as absurd as thinking the boater should have perhaps inquired into the physical health of the intruder prior to an alleged scuffle. Remember, apparently the boater did not use any firearm.

What I take away from this is don't do the crime if you are unwilling to pay the time. The corollory is to protect life, limb, property (in that order) at a cost proportionate to the threat.
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