[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 2 November, 2003, 22:15 GMT
Police accused in Clydach murder case
Mandy Power and her daughters Katie and Emily
Mandy Power and her daughters Katie and Emily

A police force has been accused of failing to investigate a high profile murder case properly.

An investigation by BBC's Panorama programme claims South Wales Police made a string of errors while investigating the Clydach murder case, with vital witness statements not being properly acted upon.

It also asks why a serving police officer who bore a striking resemblance to an e-fit photo of a man seen near the scene of the crime was never questioned about it.

The Clydach murders in 1999 made headlines because of the brutality involved.

Mandy Power, her two young daughters and their grandmother had all been beaten to death in the sleepy village near Swansea.

Evidence

Their house had been set on fire in an attempt to destroy the evidence and cover up the murders.

Within days the case became even more notorious when it emerged that the dead woman, Mandy Power, had been having a lesbian affair with a woman who was married to a South Wales Police officer.

David Morris, a local builder's labourer with a criminal record for drunkenness and violence was jailed for life for the murders last summer.

In the programme Panorama also claims South Wales Police failed to properly follow-up the evidence from an eye witness who produced an e-fit of a man seen near the scene of the crime.

Nicola Williams was driving home in the early hours of the morning on the night of the murders when she saw a man walking briskly up the hill near the scene.

No arrest

Sgt Stephen Lewis and the E-fit
Sgt Stephen Lewis resembles the E-fit but wasn't initially arrested
She says she got a perfect view of him as he looked straight at her while she drove past. When she heard about the murder she contacted the police, and a week later gave an e-fit.

The programme claims the e-fit bore a striking resemblance to two South Wales Police officers - Sergeant Stephen Lewis and his identical twin brother Inspector Stuart Lewis.

Neither men were initially arrested in connection with the murders or shown the e-fit.

Sgt Stephen Lewis was questioned and made statements early on in the investigation, but he was not arrested until a year after the murders.

It was only then that a full forensic search was made of his home and car.

Questioning?

I remember looking at it and thinking, Jesus Christ, look at that.
Inspector Stuart Lewis on the e-fit

Fifteen months after the murders, Sgt Lewis was also picked out of a line-up by Nicola Williams.

But he was released without charge after his wife Alison told police he had been with her all night.

His brother Inspector Stuart Lewis was initially questioned, but has never been questioned or investigated as a murder suspect in the case.

He was questioned about his movements - on suspicion of perverting the course of justice - a year later, when his brother was arrested.

Inspector Stuart Lewis faced no charges. He has never been confronted about the e-fit.

But he does believe he should have been brought in for questioning as soon as the e-fit was released a week after the murders.

While being secretly filmed for the programme, Inspector Stuart Lewis admitted the likeness, saying: "When I saw that photo fit, basically I remember looking at it and thinking, Jesus Christ, look at that.

Distorted photo

Inspector Stuart Lewis
Inspector Stuart Lewis was surprised he wasn't arrested in connection with the case
"The question you should be asking is, why wasn't anything done about that? I mean when I saw it, I was amazed."

Panorama has also discovered that in a pre-trial hearing, the trial judge saw a photo montage which showed the e-fit picture with a photo of Sgt Lewis next to it.

Forensics expert Ashley Windsor was asked by Panorama to examine the photos.

He has come to the conclusion the photo of Sgt Lewis was distorted.

He said: "It's very significant because the faces look completely different and I know this one is not a true representation of how the person looked."



SEE ALSO:
Fair Cops?
21 Oct 03  |  Panorama
Policeman admits e-fit likeness
02 Nov 03  |  Panorama
A history of miscarriages
02 Nov 03  |  Panorama
Your comments
31 Oct 03  |  Panorama


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific