Page last updated at 14:20 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

15 face charges over murder probe


Five men were originally charged with Lynette White's murder following the police investigation in 1988.

Fifteen people are to be charged over the investigation into the 1988 murder of Cardiff prostitute Lynette White.

They include nine retired police officers, three serving officers and one member of police staff.

Ms White was found stabbed to death in a flat in the docks area of Cardiff on Valentine's Day in 1988. Three men were wrongly jailed for her murder in 1990.

Stephen Miller, Yusef Abdullahi and Tony Paris were released after being cleared at the Court of Appeal.

It became one of Britain's most notorious miscarriages of justice and in 1992 the convictions of the three jailed men - who became known as the Cardiff Three - were quashed and they were freed.

Two other men - cousins Ronnie and John Actie - were also charged with murder along with Mr Miller, Mr Abdullahi and Mr Paris, but they were acquitted at the trial at Swansea Crown Court in 1990.

Flat where Lynette White was murdered
The flat in Butetown, Cardiff where Lynette White was murdered in 1988
Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, serving South Wales Police officers: Pc John Howard Murray, Det Sgt Paul Stephen, Det Con Paul Jennings
Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, retired South Wales Police officers: Det Insp Graham Mouncher, Det Insp Richard Powell, Insp Thomas Page, Det Con Michael Daniels, Det Con John Bryan Gillard, Det Con Peter Greenwood, Det Con John Seaford, Det Con Rachel O'Brien, Det Sgt Stephen Hicks Ranks at time of case given
Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, police staff member:Wayne Pugh
Summonsed with two counts of perjury, civilians: Violet Elizabeth Perriam, Ian Albert Massey

The real killer - Jeffrey Gafoor, a loner security guard from Llanharan, near Bridgend, who was a client of Ms White - eventually admitted the murder in 2003 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

In October 2008, Mark Grommek, Angela Psaila and Leanne Vilday, who were civilian witnesses at the 1990 trial, were convicted of perjury and are currently serving jail terms.

Since then, lawyers for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) reviewed evidence gathered by South Wales Police's re-investigation into the original Lynette White police investigation.

The 15 have been summonsed to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on 24 April.

The 12 serving and retired police officers rank from nine detective constables, to one sergeant and three inspectors.

'Another crucial phase'

Speaking at the announcement of the charges, South Wales Police's Assistant Chief Constable Colette Paul said: "At the forefront of our thoughts today is Lynette White, who was so brutally murdered on 14th February 1988.

"Today's developments will once again bring back painful memories for her family and friends and all who knew her.

"It is now just over 21 years since Lynette died, and her family have endured a great deal of heartache.

"Officers from the reinvestigation team continue to provide guidance and support to Lynette's family.

"Furthermore, we must also remember the victims of the miscarriage of justice.

"The serving of summonses marks another crucial phase in this investigative and prosecution process which has seen a total of 34 people arrested, including 15 retired police officers and five serving police officers and three individuals convicted of perjury and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment."

The IPCC supervised the re-investigation into the original Lynette White police investigation which led to the CPS's Special Crime Division announcing prosecutions against the 15.

IPCC Commissioner for Wales Tom Davies said: "It is important for South Wales Police and the people they serve that this miscarriage of justice was properly dealt with.

"In all of this we must not forget that Lynette White died at the hands of Jeffrey Gafoor and my thoughts are with her family and friends.

"It is vitally important for public confidence in the police service and the complaints process that the full story of this re-investigation is told in public.

"The trial of these 15 people will enable that to happen," he added.

In a statement released through their lawyer, Mr Paris, Mr Abdullahi, John Actie and the family of his deceased cousin Ronnie said they never regained the lives they had before the case.

"Our lives have been utterly destroyed by being branded brutal murderers," they said.

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