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Family Member Tells Of Horror Of Shooting

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

FREEPORT – The Dart family had planned to spend the Easter holidays together in Grand Bahama, but that all turned into a “nightmare,” one of the seven relatives held hostage by armed intruders on Tuesday, told the London Daily Mail.

Wealthy British farmer Edgar Dart, 56, was brutally murdered in his mother’s luxury home in Emerald Bay. Family members, including his 13-year-old son, George, watched in horror as he lay dying in front of them, it was reported.

Dart was shot in the chest during a struggle with the gunman. His death is drawing a lot of media attention in Britain, and in Canada where he has lived for the past 16 years.

Philip Poole, Mr Dart’s brother-in-law, was told by his relatives that the entire ordeal was “horrific”. He said his 29-year-old son, Pip, was at the residence on Dunton Lane when three masked men broke in around 7am Tuesday.

The suspects were armed with a handgun and a machete.

Also held hostage in the home were Edgar’s mother, Joy, 79, and his brother Colin, 55, his brother’s wife Alison, in her 50s, and their 15-year-old son, Luke.

There had been unconfirmed reports that police may have made some arrests in connection with Dart’s murder, but it could not be confirmed up to press time on Thursday evening.

Calls to ACP Emrick Seymour were not returned.

Mr Poole, 58, told the Daily Mail that pressure must be put on the authorities to stop the killings in Grand Bahama.

“This is the sixth murder they’ve had there this year and something has got to be done about it,” he said.

“We’ve got to put pressure on the authorities to stop what’s happening because it’s an absolute tragedy.

“It used to be an island paradise, really idyllic, but it’s not like that any more I’m afraid and the authorities have to share in the blame. For our family, it’s a dream that’s turned into a nightmare.”

Mr Poole said the family had planned to spend the Easter holidays in the Bahamas to help Mrs Dart settle back in after the death of her 84-year-old husband, Colin, who died of cancer in December.

“I just cannot believe that something as horrific as this has happened,” he said.

After shooting Mr Dart, the robbers tied up the family with duct tape. They cut telephone lines and searched the residence, taking jewellery and other personal items.

Mr Poole said that one of the assailants also attacked and injured his son with the machete.

“Crime is on the increase on the island, but they try to hush it up because it’s bad for business. But if they want a healthy tourist trade the best thing they can do is not have it happen in the first place,” he told London’s Daily Mail.

“If they want to keep the Bahamas as a haven for holidaymakers and retirees and the banking industry, then they’ve got to get themselves sorted out.”

It is not known when the elder Dart, a wealthy Devon entrepreneur, built the home in Grand Bahama. The large residence, located on the Grand Lucayan Waterway, was very conspicuous and could be seen from the Casuarina Bridge.

According to the Daily Mail, the farmer and businessman had made his fortune as a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, packaging pre-washed produce for supermarkets after inventing his own potato-washing machine in the 1950s.

“The house is really quite palatial, with beautiful gardens,” Mr Poole said. “Colin and Joy put a lot of time into making the house what it was. They were big friends of the Bahamas.”

He said his brother-in-law, Edgar, and Edgar’s father, Colin, were “both big men, terrific guys, larger than life figures.”

“It’s terrible to think about what has happened and what Joy must be going through. Apparently, when the men burst into the house Edgar remonstrated with them. During a struggle the gun went off. The gang then tied everyone up, including Joy and George, and ransacked the house,” he recalled.

“Alison managed to free herself and raised the alarm, but nothing could be done for Edgar, unfortunately,” Mr Poole said.

Mr Poole reported that Dart’s son, George, has left the island with his mother, Adele. They have returned to the farm in Winnipeg, Canada, where Mr Dart had emigrated to 16 years earlier from Topsham near Exeter.

Comments

TalRussell 4 years, 11 months ago

The murderous nightmare sprung upon the Comrade Dart family is not only wicket but it ain't like it tis some new serpent to Freeporters'. I could tell you some old Freeport serpent stories which never made it to the media. Our prayers and "all ears" must be with this decent family.

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Purcell 4 years, 11 months ago

God forbid letting law abiding people arm themselves for self defense. Only criminals should have guns.

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voltairehumor 4 years, 11 months ago

give all law abiding citizens shotguns for home defense

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Friend 4 years, 11 months ago

Now, where do I start. Ok. why the Bahamas stop executing these murderous bastards?? We are sick and tired of hearing about the Privy Council this and that. This question is mainly for the mostly-protected folks who are governing our beloved country. Could you please tell us what the Privy Council could do to anyone in the Bahamas or the Bahamas on a whole if hanging these bastards should resume tomorrow? Just tell us what would happen to us. These murderers are very brave and heartless, and they believe that they have a good chance of not being caught. Additionally, they also know that if they are caught they won't die for their brutal crimes committed against us. Do you know how many of these dirt bags the USA executed in the last 12 months?? Most Americans support the death penalty as most Bahamians do. The Bahamas will resume executions after a well known, very privileged Bahamian met the same fate as the person in this report (God forbid). Bahamians owe it to themselves to demand what is best for them from their government. There is too much complacency in this small country!

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John 4 years, 11 months ago

FOUR MONTHS INTO THE YEAR....How many murders in the Bahamas? 30 plus. How many persons convicted and sentenced for murder? do the math.

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TalRussell 4 years, 11 months ago

Regardless we need a Plan # 2.

Hang 'Em High seems the logical cry when a Comrade "Farmer" Edgar are horrifically murdered but is that our only answer? Rid ourselves of that old white man's privy council to Hang 'Em High, is that the real answer? This murder accounts for #6 of "official" murders committed on island of Grand Bahama thus far for 2104, so even if we did away with the privy council it could easily take 10 to 15 more years to run the tedious legal challenges, so in the meantime while we go on with our daily lives, as we await for all these calender years to tick-by, what are we to do to prevent the thousands more who based upon today's statistics alone, all but guarantee that thousands more lives will expire at the hands of murderous criminals across Grand Bahama and the rest of our Bahamaland. What is your Plan # 2?

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GrassRoot 4 years, 11 months ago

I believe the fix is to do a reform of the judiciary system. The discussions about bail and gun control are useless and emotional. What needs to change is that (I) the Bar needs to step up and reprimand some of its members for delaying, bail applications etc., (ii) the court system needs to be more efficient. In the Bahamas, the court system has been a sacred cow, it is as a politicized, corrupt and underfunded like everything else. Change the law, change the constitution to disallow bail for capital crimes, provide resources to the judiciary and allow foreign prosecutors. Look at what happened to the Travolta case.

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Friend 4 years, 11 months ago

You are missing the point here brother. The question is, what would happen to anyone in the Bahamas or the Bahamas government if hanging were to resume tomorrow? I would like to know the answer because it should be of concern to us. I have a good feeling as to what would happen. These dirt bags must be taken out. And you know what, these guys are fathers of children with their genes which in my opinion is a serious thing!

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TalRussell 4 years, 11 months ago

Comrade GrassRoot this inability to get serious to do the "fix"by the Hubert regime and being continued by PM Christie's cabinet, is exactly what has contributed to the serious crime problems we experience today in 2014. Unfortunately, there are no "fix" that can ever raise the thousands of dead Comrade Edgar's from their caskets.

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EasternGate 4 years, 11 months ago

Was it not Jesus who said that the LAW was made for man and not man for the LAW?

Why do we continue to worship the LAW as if it was some sacred salvation? Damn it, the law is a great enabler to these reprobates. These shitty lawyers in parliament wont touch it. All they care about is ceremonies where they can display their wigs and gowns.

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