World Four men found guilty of killing British businessman, 62, as he tried to defend his wife on board the couple's yacht in St Lucia
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Four men have been found guilty of killing a British businessman who tried to defend his wife on their yacht in Vieux Fort, St Lucia.
Roger Pratt, 62, and his wife Margaret, from Warwickshire, were on a round-the-world trip when they were brutally attacked on the evening of January 17, 2014.
Six years on from his death, Jeromine Jones, Richie Kern, and Kervin Devaux have been found guilty of murder and Fanis Joseph guilty of manslaughter.
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The jury members deliberated for a short time before returning a guilty verdict after a six-week trial.
'After six years and several adjournments, I'm just very relieved that after six years we got justice for Roger,' Widow Margaret Pratt said following the conviction.
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'I want to thank the jury for considering all the evidence and for coming to their conclusion,' she added.
The trial was extensive, featuring six weeks of witness testimony from Margaret Pratt, the pathologist, crime scene investigators, the forensic lab director, counsellors, and a psychologist.
Joseph received a lesser conviction because of the role he played in sending a lifebuoy to Mr Pratt when he fell into the sea after being struck several times by Kern.
Mr Pratt was punched eight times in the face when he fell - or was thrown – into the water unconscious and drowned.
Mrs Pratt, who had been married to her husband for 37 years, suffered two black eyes and bruising to her cheekbones during the assault.
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The four men were quickly arrested after Mr Pratt's murder in 2014, but the case was held up because of a backlog of criminal cases needing to be heard.
It was then delayed again due to renovations at the court closing it for nine months, reports.
'I am pleased that the jury had quite a task and they were able to return with a verdict of manslaughter. I would prefer a better outcome for my client, but the jury has spoken at this time,' George Charlemagne, attorney for Joseph said.
'I was hoping for a different outcome in this matter, it is not really what I expected but at the end of the day, the jury adjudicated and came to a verdict,' David Moyston, Devaux's lawyer said.
Jones was represented by Alberton Richelieu and Sandy John represented Kern. The sentencing of the four men is scheduled to take place on April 6, 2020.
A pre-sentencing report must be submitted beforehand for all four men, however, a psychiatric evaluation must be done for the three convicted of murder.
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