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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 November, 2003, 22:15 GMT
A history of miscarriages
Annette Hewins
Annette Hewins was freed after two and a half years

The BBC's Panorama programme has revealed disturbing new evidence about the 1999 Clydach murders, but David Morris would not be the first person wrongly convicted in South Wales.

Since the mid 1980s South Wales Police have jailed 11 people wrongly for murder.

Some of the cases became notorious across the UK.

In some of these cases there have been allegations that South Wales police did not just make mistakes, but made up evidence.

Among them, is the murder of a woman in a Swansea sex shop when fabricated evidence resulted in life sentences for two brothers.

Sandra Phillips, 38, was beaten, strangled and sexually assaulted at the Private Shop in Swansea where she worked.

The mother-of-four's body and part of the shop were doused in petrol but not set alight during the attack in June 1985.

Notebooks altered

Paul Darvell and his brother Wayne, who were aged 25 and 24 at the time, were sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime but were freed by the Court of Appeal in 1992.

Investigators admitted that "evidence" from Wayne Darvell had been doctored and other evidence suppressed. Appeal judges said the convictions were "unsafe and unsatisfactory" because the prosecution evidence was doubtful.

They had heard that police notebooks had been altered to make it appear that Wayne Darvell had volunteered information rather than agreeing with police officers.

The court also heard he had a history of confessing to things he had not done.

The police investigation into a fatal house fire in Merthyr Tydfil in 1995 led to another miscarriage of justice. The fire had killed a woman and her two small children.

Annette Hewins

The Darvell brothers were wrongly convicted of a brutal murder
An eye-witness had seen a man running away from the scene. But two women were charged with the murders and later convicted of causing the deaths by arson.

Annette Hewins was freed by the Court of Appeal after spending two and a half years in prison. The second convicted woman, her niece, Donna Clarke was freed later.

Annette is now suing the police for malicious prosecution alleging theyıd manipulated a vulnerable witness to give false evidence.

South Wales Police are now re-investigating some old murder cases.

One of them was the brutal murder of a prostitute in Cardiffıs docklands on Valentines Day in 1998. It led to one of the worst miscarriages Britain has ever seen.

Cardiff Three

The body of Lynette White, a prostitute, was found with multiple stab wounds in the run down flat she worked from.

A huge police hunt was launched. And soon, they had an important lead. An eye-witness reported seeing a white man acting suspiciously near the murder scene.

Tony Paris
Tony Paris was one of the 'Cardiff three'
That original suspect was never traced and instead of one white man, murder squad detectives arrested five local black men who were all charged with the murder.

Three of those men ­ Tony Paris, Yusef Abdullahi and Steven Miller - were later convicted. They spent four years in jail before being released on appeal earlier this year.

Jeffrey Gafoor was trapped by new DNA evidence. In July 2003, he admitted murdering Lynette White.

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02 Nov 03  |  Panorama
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31 Oct 03  |  Panorama


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