A British police officer extradited to Antigua to face a rape charge has been committed to stand trial in the Caribbean island’s High Court in late January.
PC Lee Martin-Cramp, 25, was flown to Antigua where he is suspected of raping a foreign student while attending a family wedding three years ago.
The Scotland Yard officer tried to block the move claiming being detained in the paradise island’s notorious 18th-century prison would be inhumane.
PC Lee Martin-Cramp (pictured at a passing out ceremony) was flown to Antigua where he is suspected of raping a foreign student while attending a family wedding three years ago
But in a legal first, the West Indian authorities convinced a London judge to sign off his extradition with an extraordinary accommodation deal.
They have agreed to house Martin-Cramp on a former US airbase with air-conditioning, a fridge and an en-suite bathroom.
The set-up will be a far cry from the squalid interior of 1735, Antigua and Barbuda’s national prison, named after the year it was built.
Its harsh conditions, appalling overcrowding and corruption among guards has drawn criticism from the United Nations and US State Department.
Martin-Cramp joined the Metropolitan Police in 2014 and was posted to the Wanted Offenders Unit in Wimbledon, south east London.
Police on the island said a foreign student based on the island came forward to claim she had been raped during his stay.
Cramp is currently being housed on a former US airbase with air-conditioning, a fridge and an en-suite bathroom – instead of the country’s squalid national jail
Before they could arrest Martin-Cramp he left the island and the authorities began the lengthy legal proceedings to secure his return.
According to documents released by Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Martin-Cramp’s lawyers said he could not be extradited because of the prison conditions.
In February 2017 the country’s chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot agreed, saying they were ‘not appropriate’ for a suspect who may be held for a ‘lengthy period of time’.
But during a hearing this summer she reversed her decision after receiving assurances from Antigua’s attorney general.
‘They put forward a room on a former US airbase which included air conditioning, a fridge, and an en suite bathroom,’ she wrote in a ruling. ‘The conditions were satisfactory, to say the least.’