South East Wales

Lynette White case: Stephen Miller 'controlled' her

Eight former police officers who deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
Image caption Eight former police officers deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice

A jury has heard how murdered Cardiff prostitute Lynette White had been in fear of her pimp who had been seen pushing and kicking her.

Retired taxi driver Jack Ellis said Ms White wanted to get away from Stephen Miller - also her boyfriend - because he took her money to pay for drugs.

Mr Miller and two others were jailed for the 1988 murder and later released.

Eight ex-police officers deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Two other people deny perjury.

Mr Miller and two other men - known as the Cardiff three - were released in 1992 by the Court of Appeal and their convictions were quashed.

The real killer, Jeffrey Gafoor, now 46, was jailed for life in 2003.

The eight ex-police officers on trial at Swansea Crown Court have been accused of manufacturing a case against the three innocent men.

The prosecution has argued that they made up their minds who had been responsible and then made the evidence fit.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Mr Ellis said he became well-known as a taxi driver in Cardiff's docks area in the late 1980s and met Ms White.

He said he believed Mr Miller had been feeding her cocaine and taking drugs himself.

He said Mr Miller controlled her "work wise and money wise".

The last time he saw Miss White alive - about a week before she died - he drove her to a club, where Mr Miller met her and told her to get back in the cab and go home, he claimed.

Mr Ellis said: "He went to give her a kick and told her 'You had better have a good excuse when I get there.'"

On another occasion he said he saw Mr Miller "pushing and kicking" Ms White.

He said Mr Miller spent "all his time in the Casablanca Club" but at the end of each evening would go to another club to take Ms White's money.

"She never mentioned being frightened of anyone apart from Stephen Miller," he said.

"She asked me frequently if there was anywhere she could go to get away from him. She wanted to stay in Cardiff but somewhere where he would never find her.

"He was taking all her money. She said she often wondered what it would be like to keep it."

Following the release of the Cardiff three, South Wales police re-opened the case and in 2003 DNA advances led them to Jeffrey Gafoor, who admitted the murder.

A new investigation was also held into how the three - and two others found innocent after trial - came to be prosecuted.

Eight officers involved in the 1988 probe are accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. One of them, and two people who gave evidence, are also charged with perjury.

They have all pleaded not guilty and the trial continues.

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