South East Wales

Lynette White: Review into collapse of corruption trial

Lynette White Image copyright PA
Image caption Lynette White was murdered in Cardiff in 1988

The collapse of the UK's biggest police corruption trial, which followed the wrongful conviction of three men for the murder of a prostitute in 1988 will be reviewed by a top barrister, the Home Secretary has announced.

Lynette White was stabbed more than 50 times in the Cardiff docklands flat where she worked.

The quashed convictions led to the failed trial of eight officers in 2011.

The review will look at whether 227 boxes of documents were overlooked.

Home Secretary Theresa May told MPs that Richard Horwell QC would lead the investigation, which will begin on 2 March and aim to complete its findings by the summer.

It will also look at the reasons why leading counsel for the prosecution lost confidence in the disclosure process and the case was abandoned.

The review will investigate whether lessons have been learnt from the collapse of the trial.

South Wales Police Chief Constable Peter Vaughan said the force "has been determined to find the truth about Lynette White's tragic murder and to investigate alleged police wrongdoing in the first investigation. This commitment led to the conviction of Jeffrey Gafoor for Lynette's murder.

"We have fully supported and cooperated with reviews undertaken by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and will provide the same level of commitment to Mr Horwell QC."

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Top row: Michael Daniels, Peter Greenwood, Paul Jennings, Graham Mouncher. Bottom row: Thomas Page, Richard Powell, John Seaford and Paul Stephen

Mrs May said: "The government takes police integrity very seriously. It is at the heart of public confidence in the police and underpins our model of policing by consent.

"It is nearly 25 years since three men were wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of Lynette White.

"There are still unresolved questions surrounding the reasons why no one was found responsible for this appalling miscarriage of justice.

"That is why I have launched a QC-led Investigation into the collapse of this trial so the men who were wrongly convicted and the wider public will see these questions answered."

Image copyright 3 Raymond Buildings Barristers
Image caption Richard Horwell QC will lead the review

Tony Paris, Yusef Abdullahi and Stephen Miller - who became known as the Cardiff Three - were wrongly jailed in 1990 for Ms White's murder.

The three were sentenced to life but were freed in December 1992 after their convictions were overturned.

In 2003, new DNA technology led police to Ms White's real killer - Jeffrey Gafoor, who confessed to stabbing her in a row over £30.

The 2011 trial of former South Wales Police officers for offences connected with the 1990 trial, including conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and perjury, collapsed because of a series of disclosure failings on behalf of South Wales Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

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