(DAILY MAIL UK) – A police officer accused of rape who claimed being sent to the Caribbean would breach his human rights faces extradition.
PC Lee Martin-Cramp, 25, will be 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.
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.
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.’
Judge Arbuthnot said she would also like Martin-Cramp to be allowed to exercise outside of his room for at least two hours a day.
She added: ‘I would like to express my gratitude to the Antiguan authorities for their approach in this case, which is beneficial to the extradition process and to the requested person himself.’
The extradition, approved by Home Secretary Sajid Javid last month, marks the first time a UK citizen has been extradited to Antigua to face criminal charges.
Martin-Cramp’s family declined to comment at their home in Lewes, a stone’s throw from the headquarters of Sussex Police.
The young PC enjoys a sideline as a successful football referee in the county, officiating in several youth FA cup fixtures and the regional league.
The Metropolitan Police said a date for the officer’s extradition is yet to be set. He has been arrested and remains on conditional bail.
A spokesman said: ‘He is facing an allegation of rape that took place on May 23, 2015. This led to an extradition request from Antiguan authorities and an arrest warrant was issued.
‘At this stage the officer remains on restricted duties. He will be subject to internal police discipline procedures once the criminal case has concluded.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘On August 23, 2018, the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all relevant matters, signed the order for Lee Martin-Cramp’s extradition to Antigua and Barbuda. Mr Martin-Cramp is accused of rape.’