Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Fears of death crash charge Briton

A British woman who denies killing her Dominican Republican husband has said she would rather die than serve a jail sentence on the Caribbean isle.

Nicola Reyes, of Cardiff, has been imprisoned on the Caribbean isle for the past 14 months as she awaits trial. The 37-year-old widow insists the death of her husband Jorge was a terrible road accident.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Mrs Reyes said her health had begun to deteriorate alarmingly after she was locked up in a squalid Dominican jail nicknamed the Devil's Hotel.

The former travel rep said she would never forget the screams of a young man beaten to death by other inmates only feet away from her. "They left him there dead in front of us until the morning," she said.

"If I am convicted....I will kill myself. I have worked out a way to do it."

Mrs Reyes fell in love with the Dominican Republic when she visited in 2000 and moved out 10 years ago with her two children and her parents. Handyman Jorge was a regular visitor, helping out with their garden and pool. Following a whirlwind romance, the pair wed in 2007 and set up home in Puerto Plata.

Last July, Mrs Reyes was driving home following a night out with friends. Jorge, who was riding alongside on his motorbike, fell under the wheels of her jeep. Mrs Reyes said she was stunned when her late husband's relatives claimed she had deliberately run over him following an argument between the pair.

According to reports, four months ago Jorge's parents agreed to drop the case for £40,000 "compensation". However, that request was refused by the local district attorney. In the meantime, Mrs Reyes said she fears she will die in jail or be killed by contract killers inside. She spent six weeks in the notorious Devil's Hotel before being transferred to a private jail.

Her parents Michael and Jeannette Clements, who moved back to Cardiff in April last year, have since launched a petition begging Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene. The couple have also claimed they have received little help from the British Embassy in the Dominican Republic or the Foreign Office in London.

The Foreign Office said it was aware that Nicola Reyes had been charged in July 2012 and stressed it had provided consular assistance to Mrs Reyes and her family. But a spokesman added: "We cannot interfere in the judicial process of another country."


From Belfast Telegraph