South East Wales

Lynette White case: Murderer blood evidence questioned

Lynette White
Image caption Lynette White was stabbed more than 50 times in the flat where she worked

A forensics expert has been questioned at a trial about blood evidence left by the man now serving life for Lynette White's murder in Cardiff.

The expert was asked if it was possible Jeffrey Gafoor had been hurt in a struggle with Miss White, who could then have been killed later by one or more different people.

Gafoor admitted the 1988 murder. Three men were earlier wrongly convicted.

Eight ex-police officers deny perverting the course of justice.

Gafoor was arrested in 2003 but before then, three men had been convicted of the murder before being freed on appeal in 1992.

Five men, who became known as the Cardiff Five, were originally tried and three of them Stephen Miller, Yusef Abdullahi and Tony Paris were convicted and jailed for life in 1990.

The Cardiff Three as they became known were released two years later after their convictions were quashed.

A 10-year inquiry into how they came to be arrested has resulted in the former police officers who worked on the original investigation being accused of "fitting up" the men.

Miss White, a prostitute, was stabbed more than 50 times inside a flat at James Street, Cardiff, which she used to entertain clients, in the early hours of 14 February 1988.

Gafoor, who is serving a life sentence, had told Swansea Crown Court that he "stabbed at" Miss White 10 to 12 times in a darkened bedroom.

He said he had demanded back his £30 after she had refused to have unprotected sex with him. A struggle began and he killed her. He said he had acted alone.

'Struggle'

Dr Angela Gallop, a forensic scientist, told Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday about tests for blood she had made in 1999, 11 years after the murder.

The flat had been redecorated by then but her team was able to take away original doors and skirting boards and had access to her clothing and other items.

For the first time, she said, they were able to remove fresh paint from a door and find blood underneath.

She described how DNA profiles had been found at various points which matched or partially matched that of Gafoor and Miss White.

She agreed that the fatal wound had been to Miss White's throat.

After that, she had been stabbed several times through the chest while her jacket had been wrapped - back to front - tightly around her and both her wrists had been cut.

William Coker QC, the barrister defending then Det Insp Graham Mouncher, who had day to day control of the investigation leading up to the original arrests of the five men, put it to Dr Gallop that there could have been two episodes of violence.

He said Gafoor had told of only 10 or 12 stabs when there had been more than 50 and he had not mentioned cutting her throat three times.

Mr Coker said Gafoor did not know if the stabs had connected. He had then stopped and had not injured her again.

But he had, at some stage, suffered a cut himself.

"If he is right about 10 or 12 stabs then there is obviously more to it. The fatal attack could have been minutes or hours later," asked Mr Coker.

"It is technically possible," replied Dr Gallop.

'Left in a hurry'

Mr Coker asked if it was possible that during the first struggle Miss White had not been injured but Gafoor had, which could explain why traces of what appeared to have been his blood had been found at exit points to the flat.

And it could have been Miss White herself who transferred the injured Gafoor's blood to her clothing, including her left sock.

Dr Gallop said she had not been asked to reconstruct the crime scene, only to search for blood that did not belong there.

"The fatal attack could have happened any time after he had left," added Mr Coker.

Gafoor had claimed, added Mr Coker, that after the attack had finished he had sat on a bed "for about two minutes and then left in a hurry".

Dr Gallop agreed that if that had happened she would have expected Gafoor's blood to have been found on the bed.

The trial continues.

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