Statewatch article: RefNo# 26576
Wales: Police arrested over "Cardiff Three" murder conspiracy
Statewatch Bulletin; vol 15 no 2 March-April 2005
Retired police officers were among 22 people arrested in April as part of an inquiry into the death of Cardiff prostitute, Lynette White, who was brutally murdered in 1988. Lynette had been stabbed more than 50 times and her killer had attempted to decapitate her in what has been described as the most savage murder in Welsh criminal history. Within hours of the killing police had arrested a suspect, a white man in a distressed state who had bloodstains on his clothing. Later the police investigation changed course and five black men were charged with the murder. This resulted in a notorious miscarriage of justice when Yusef Abdullahi, Steven Miller and Tony Paris, who became known as the "Cardiff Three", were jailed for life for murder in 1990 after a trial that lasted for 117 days. Two other men, who had been named as the killers were acquitted.

The Cardiff Three had their convictions quashed on appeal in December 1992 when it was revealed that eyewitness testimony and forensic DNA evidence against them was unreliable. The then-Lord Chief Justice Lord Taylor of Gosforth, said that one of the convicted men, who had the mental age of 11, had been "bullied and hectored" for 13 hours before implicating the other two men in a confession that was a "travesty of an interview". At the mens' appeal their convictions were ruled unsafe because the recorded interviews should not have been put before the jury. An internal South Wales police inquiry cleared the force of any wrongdoing.

In 2003 security guard, Jeffrey Gator, pleaded guilty to Lynette's murder and was jailed for life. After his conviction South Wales police announced that they would hold another inquiry, which is being overseen by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, into the murder investigation that led to the miscarriage. It is this investigation that has resulted in the arrest of nine former police officers, and 13 other people. The police officers were arrested for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, false imprisonment and misconduct in public office. The other 13 people, including former Cardiff prostitutes and pimps, have been questioned about information that they provided to the police.

For a detailed, early account of the case see Satish Seker “Fitted In: the Cardiff 3 and the Lynette White Inquiry” (1998) available from the author at: Independent 25.4.05, BBC News 13.4.05.

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