Hopeful: David Middleton continues to appeal for justice for his daughter. *File photo
Hopeful: David Middleton continues to appeal for justice for his daughter. *File photo

The family of a teenager raped and murdered in Bermuda say they will never give up their search for justice.

Rebecca Middleton, a 17-year-old Canadian, was raped, tortured and killed while on vacation on the island, on July 3, 1996.

She was stabbed up to 35 times and left to die on a remote road in Ferry Reach, St George’s.

No one has yet been convicted of her murder (see sidebar) Rebecca’s parents, David Middleton and Cindy Bennett, decided not to pursue the issue through the Court of Appeal due to mounting costs.

However, they took the case to the European Court of Human Rights in January 2010, where legal costs are only incurred if the case is accepted for review.

Almost four years on, they are still hopeful of justice.

David Middleton told the Sun he feels let down by the criminal justice system in Bermuda.

“No one was convicted of this murder so it really should be an open case, but that’s not the way it’s been handled,” he said. 

“They just wanted to get rid of this whole thing and sweep it under the carpet. We went to the Privy Council in England, who said it was “astonishing”, but in Bermuda they just said ‘No’, and wanted it to go away.

“We could have pressed it further in the British courts but I was given an estimate of about $300,000 to do this.”

He said: “We were very satisfied with the work Cherie Blair did. She made a great presentation to try to get the case back
on course.

“But the government of Bermuda wasn’t willing to sway on that and so we lost that issue.

“Most countries affiliated with Britain are looking at double jeopardy, so if strong evidence comes forward after a trial, such as DNA or a weapon, the case can go back to court. But Bermuda said ‘No’.

“So we applied to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, but they have so many cases backed up right now.

“Our case with Becky is going to keep going to the back of the line because it’s the issue of one person and the government (judiciary) of Bermuda; it’s not a Third World massacre.

“But we are waiting and are hopeful that at some point they will take our case and review it, and give a pronouncement or judgment about the way it was handled.

“At the end of the day we are not going to get Becky back but we are ever hopeful that the case will be looked at. I had never been to Bermuda; the first time was to get Becky and bring her back. But the people of Bermuda are so caring and warm; everyone was sympathetic.

“The government, which is typical of a lot of countries, seemed to be slow on the draw. And almost everyone we met said the legal system should get their act together.

“The legal system seems to be very strange and inconsistent. But Bermuda is a beautiful place.” 

Editor’s note: The Bermuda Sun interviewed David Middleton last month on the role GPS could have played in securing a taxi home for Rebecca and her friend, Jasmine Meens, on the night of the murder. Miss Meens called for a taxi three times but it never arrived and the teenagers then accepted a lift home from young men on motorcycles. Rebecca never made it back.