Wales

Death of Yusef Abdullahi, 49, one of 'Cardiff Three'

Yusuf Abdullahi
Image caption Yusef Abdullahi served two years in jail before his conviction was quashed

Yusef Abdullahi, one of the three men wrongly convicted of the murder of a Cardiff woman, Lynette White, has died.

Mr Abdullahi, 49, Stephen Miller and Tony Paris, who became known as the Cardiff Three, were jailed in 1990 but later cleared at the Court of Appeal.

Peter Vaughan, chief constable of South Wales Police, sent his sympathy to Mr Abdullahi's family and friends.

Ms White, 20, who worked as a prostitute, was found stabbed in a Butetown flat on 14 February, 1988.

In a statement Mr Vaughan commented: "My thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Abdullahi and I am sorry for their untimely loss".

Cardiff solicitor Matthew De Maid, whose firm represented Mr Abdullahi, said his case was a reminder of the devastating consequences on someone's life if they are a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

"He found life very difficult following his case and wrongful conviction," said Mr De Maid.

"He found it difficult to come to terms with life even after he was formally cleared."

The jailing of the three men became one of Britain's most notorious miscarriages of justice, and serious questions were raised from the beginning about the strength of the convictions.

Graffiti was daubed on walls in Butetown echoing their pleas of innocence.

Campaigners raised particular concerns over the way a confession was taken from Ms White's boyfriend and pimp, Steve Miller.

The campaign gained momentum and two years after the three were sentenced, the Court of Appeal ruled that a gross miscarriage of justice had taken place.

In 1992 the convictions of the three jailed men were quashed and they were freed.

Life sentence

Delivering his ruling, Lord Justice Taylor said that short of physical abuse, it was hard to conceive of a more hostile and intimidatory approach by police officers to a suspect, during the interview of Mr Miller.

In 2003, Jeffrey Gafoor, a client of Ms White, admitted her murder and is serving a life sentence.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has confirmed that Mr Abdullahi would have been called as a prosecution witness at the trial of 15 people charged over the investigation into the murder, which is expected to start later this year.

Of those accused, 13 are former and serving police officers.

The defendants are accused of being implicated in the outcome of two trials which led to the wrongful imprisonment of three men for murder.

In a statement the CPS said it had expressed its condolences to Mr Abdullahi's family via his solicitors.

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