Former deported West Indies cricketer Franklyn Rose: 'NZ not a safe place for black people'

Former West Indian cricketer Franklyn Rose pictured at Keith Hay Park in Auckland. Photo / Janna Dixon
Former West Indian cricketer Franklyn Rose pictured at Keith Hay Park in Auckland. Photo / Janna Dixon

A former West Indies cricketer who was kicked out of New Zealand is urging other black athletes to steer clear of the country after the way he was treated.

Former international fast bowler and player coach at Auckland University Cricket Club Franklyn Rose has slammed judicial officials for locking him up in an Auckland prison for seven weeks while investigating a rape complaint.

"What have I done to be locked in a prison cell for seven weeks? I felt so terrified and nervous when I realised I was living with and amongst serial killers, rapists and drug dealers," he said.

The Herald revealed in April that Rose was the subject of a rape complaint being investigated by New Zealand police.

The batsman and right-arm bowler, who played 19 test matches, denies the allegation.

The Herald learned that a woman laid a complaint in January, the day after the alleged incident. A source told the Herald the victim did not go ahead with the complaint so that his deportation could be dealt with sooner.

It is understood charges were not laid before Rose was deported in March as his visa had expired in 2012.

The 44-year-old said he wouldn't encourage black athletes to visit New Zealand and has written a letter to the International Cricket Council stating "New Zealand is not a safe place for international cricketers, especially if they are black".

He said he was the subject of a "thuggish" racial attack by a group of youths in Takapuna during the early hours of a Saturday morning in November 2012 which left him hospitalised.

"My experience in New Zealand was okay until I had that horrible racial attack from those four white thugs that almost change my life for ever.

"While in hospital recovering from my wounds, I [developed] a blood clot in my lungs which prevented me from flying, and that was the reason for me ended up getting stuck in that country for almost four years."

He said he was disappointed the case went unsolved and believed the investigating officer racially stereotyped him.

"He wanted to know if I was involved in gangs or drugs, I was very disappointed and asked him if it is only black people who are involved with drugs and gangs and why is he stereotyping me this way?

"I always thought New Zealand was one of the friendliest and safest place in the world, but that wasn't the case after what I have experienced in that country."

Police reject cricketer's accusations of stereotyping

Waitemata police area commander Superintendent Bill Searle this afternoon "strongly refuted" Rose's allegations.

"A full and thorough investigation was carried out into Mr Rose's reported assault and amongst these inquiries, a number of statements were taken from several witnesses. Mr Rose's version of events was not able to be corroborated."

Mr Rose was advised of the outcome of his case and thanked the investigating officer, he said.

"At no point in time did he express any dissatisfaction with the way he was treated or the way his case was investigated.

"In fact, several weeks after he was advised of the outcome, Mr Rose extended an invitation to the investigating officer to bring other members of police to attend a promotional event at a bar. This offer was not taken up by any member of police."

In April, police confirmed they were investigating a complaint of sexual assault but no charges were laid and police helped deport him back to Jamaica early in the month.

Before Rose was held at Mt Eden Prison he faced a rape allegation from an Auckland woman in January this year. The complaint was later dropped.

"This so called rape issue is not true either," Rose said denying the allegation.

"How can someone lay a rape [complaint] and then you walk free?"

Rose says he has suffered from depression and anxiety attacks since his time behind bars.

- NZ Herald

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