14/08/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

British Mum Jailed For 12 Years For Killing Husband In Caribbean


A mother has been jailed for 12 years for killing her husband by running over him – something she has always maintained was an accident.

Holiday rep Nicole Reyes, 38, was driving home from a night out in the Dominican Republic next to coconut water salesman Jorge when her car hit his motorbike, leaving him dead.

She insisted he had swerved to avoid an oncoming car and hit her by accident - but police in the Caribbean accused her of murder.

Mrs Reyes first visited the island on holiday before taking a holiday rep job with Thomas Cook, where she met her husband, a coconut water salesman, in 2006. They married in 2007 and had what was described as a happy relationship until the crash in July 2012.

Mrs Reyes was driving her sports utility vehicle next to the Yamaha 125 motorbike being ridden by her 38-year-old husband when the crash happened.

Police told Mrs Reyes they would take her to hospital - but took her straight to prison, it is claimed.

Now Mrs Reyes has been jailed for 12 years after being held with 15 other women in a 12ft by 12ft cell for 18 months.

Her family said she was convicted of voluntary homicide, believed to be the Dominican Republic's equivalent of murder. She had initially faced a jail term of up to 30 years.

Mrs Reyes' mother Jeanette Clements and stepfather Mike are now meeting with British diplomats to fight for her release.

Mrs Clements, 61, said: "I have told Nicole to keep her chin up. I really did believe she would be coming home with me this week. We are going to appeal.

"She has problems with her kidneys. She is ill and needs medical help. I don't think she's going to cope in that prison.

"She was in a tiny room which was only about 12ft by 12ft and there were 15 women in there.

"She is innocent but she has no chance of a fair trial out there. All we can do is stay strong for her."

Mrs Reyes' children Luke and Leah, both 18, have moved back to the UK to be with their grandparents and speak to their mother every day on the phone.

Leah said: "We are heartbroken that mum is not going to be coming home but we will continue to fight in court and will appeal the decision.

"Twelve years is better than 30 years but for her to be in prison at all is pathetic because she has done nothing wrong."

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We're aware that a British national, Nicole Reyes, has been detained in the Dominican Republic since July 2012. We are monitoring events closely and we continue to provide consular assistance to Ms Reyes and her family."