Wales

Lynette White murder: Timeline of events

  • 14 June 2016
  • From the section Wales
Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Lynette White was murdered on Valentine's Day 1988

14 February 1988: Prostitute Lynette White, 20, is found stabbed more than 50 times in a flat in Cardiff docklands.

November 1988: Five men are arrested and go on trial in 1989. But the judge dies unexpectedly during the case and a second trial is scheduled.

June 1990: At the second trial, two of the men are cleared but three - Stephen Miller, Yusef Abdullahi and Tony Paris - are found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

1992: The Court of Appeal rules a gross miscarriage of justice has taken place and the Cardiff Three have their conviction quashed and are freed. Delivering his ruling, Lord Justice Taylor criticises police officers for the way they interviewed Stephen Miller.

September 2000: A new inquiry into the murder is launched by South Wales Police.

January 2002: Police announce they have built up a genetic profile of the killer and the five men originally charged all give DNA samples - none match the profile.

Officers then find a partial match with a youth who was not born when the killing took place. Testing of the 14-year-old's family finds a close relative whose DNA matches that found at the murder scene. The relative's name is Jeffrey Gafoor.

February 2003: Gafoor, a security guard from Llanharan, near Bridgend, is arrested.

July 2003: Gafoor is jailed for life after pleading guilty to murdering Ms White. His defence barrister John Charles Rees QC demands a public inquiry into the earlier investigation.

November 2004: South Wales Police, supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), begins an inquiry to establish what went wrong with the original murder investigation.

April-November 2005: Several serving and former police officers are arrested and questioned on suspicion of false imprisonment, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in public office.

November 2006: 23 people remain on bail in connection with the investigation, including 15 retired or serving officers.

February 2007: Trial witnesses Mark Grommek, Angela Psaila and Leanne Vilday are charged with perjury. A number of people remain on bail pending further inquiries.

October 2008: Mark Grommek, who lived above the flat in which Ms White was murdered, initially pleads not guilty to the charge at his trial, but changes his plea to guilty. Angela Psaila and Leanne Vilday's pleas of guilty are also recorded.

December 2008: Mark Grommek, Angela Psaila and Leanne Vilday are each sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

March 2009: CPS announces there is "sufficient evidence" to prosecute officers.

July 2011: Eight former South Wales Police officers stand trial. A further four due to stand trial in 2012.

December 2011: CPS offers no evidence and the case collapses.

January 2012: Documents, thought to have been destroyed and which had led to the collapse of the corruption case, are found.

July 2013: An IPCC review into the trial finds it collapsed because of mistakes and not deliberate wrong-doing.

September 2013: The Home Office announces there will be no public inquiry into the handling of the trial.

February 2015: An inquiry into why the corruption trial collapsed is launched by the Home Office.

June 2015: Eight former South Wales Police officers involved in the collapsed corruption case announce they will sue the force over the action.

October 2015: The High Court civil action on behalf of the eight former officers begins in Cardiff.

June 2016: Mr Justice Wyn Williams dismisses the civil case brought by the eight detectives. Of 15 officers who sued the force, the judge says there are two instances where South Wales Police should not have made an arrest; one when there was insufficient evidence and another when it was unnecessary.