No police officers will be charged over the Cardiff Three miscarriage of justice. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has concluded that it is satisfied with South Wales Police’s investigation into allegations of police misconduct during the Cardiff Three miscarriage of justice.
‘As the officers under investigation have all retired there are now no disciplinary matters remaining for consideration. That means the IPCC supervision of this investigation has concluded,’ said an IPCC spokesman. Lynette White, 20, was murdered on Valentine’s Day in 1988 -see HERE.
Five men where initially charged, three of which – Yusef Abdullahi, Stephen Miller and Tony Paris – were jailed in 1990. Two years later the Court of Appeal quashed their convictions and they were freed. Ground-breaking advances in DNA testing led to the discovery of the real killer, Jeffrey Grafoor, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2003. Following an investigation into alleged police corruption in the original murder investigation eight South Wales Police officers stood trial at Swansea Crown Court in 2011. It was the biggest police corruption trial in British legal history, costing £30m.
But the trial collapsed in December 2011 when the court was informed that crucial documents were destroyed. The files were later found.
The failure of the trial against the South Wales Police officers attracted criticism from supporters of the Cardiff Three.
Responding to the criticism the IPCC announced there would be an investigation into the trial of the police officers – but controversially decided to use the South Wales Police force to head the investigation into their own police officers rather than an outside force.
In response to the conclusions, investigative journalist, Satish Sekar said: ‘The IPCC was completely and utterly the wrong body to investigate this.’ Sekar said that miscarriages of justice should be investigated “outside of the hands of the police.’
‘The lasting legacy of the Lynette White case should be a new and totally independent body to investigate the cases left in limbo – something that can protect police from wrong accusations of malpractice and even more importantly deliver justice to the innocent,’ he said.
The chief constable of South Wales Police, Peter Vaughan said it was a ‘courageous decision’ by South Wales Police to pursue this ‘robust investigation’.
He said: ‘That decision, to take on the investigation rather than allowing another force to lead, was part of our continued commitment to deal with a difficult legacy and the associated allegations of police wrongdoing.’
The IPCC commissioner for Wales Tom Davies said that ‘many lessons have been learnt from this to guide future historical crime and serious misconduct investigations and improve police practice in future’.
Author: Christina Michaels
Justice Gap reporter and journalism student at the University of Winchester