Sunday, 9 May 2010
Thirteen police officers were yesterday accused of framing three men wrongly jailed for killing a prostitute 21 years ago.
They are alleged to have fabricated evidence in the case of Lynette White, 21, who was stabbed 70 times.
Her boyfriend and two friends - dubbed the Cardiff Three - were originally jailed for life for the killing but freed two years later on appeal.
The real murderer Jeffrey Gafoor was eventually convicted six years ago through DNA evidence.
This sparked an inquiry into the detective work in Lynette's case.
Now the CPS says there is enough evidence to prosecute 13 officers - three serving and 10 retired - involved in the original investigation.
They are to be charged with conspiracy to pervert justice. Two civilian workers face perjury raps.
Tom Davies, the Independent Police Complaints Commission boss in Wales, said yesterday: "It is important for public confidence in the police and the complaints process that the full story of this re-investigation is told.
"The trial of these people will enable that to happen."
Lynette was murdered in a flat above a betting shop in Cardiff in 1988. Stephen Miller, Yusef Abdullahi and Anthony Paris were jailed for murder but released in 1990 after their convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal.
Last October, three witnesses were jailed for perjury after admitting lying under police pressure at their trial.
The CPS decision to charge 15 officers and civilian staff over a miscarriage of justice is unprecedented in its scale.
Few officers have ever been tried over claims they fabricated evidence.
The accused have been summonsed to appear at City of Westminster magistrates court next month.
The maximum sentence for conspiracy to pervert justice is life. The longest for perjury is seven years.
DUE IN COURT
The 13 summonsed with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice are: PC John Howard Murray, Det Sgt Paul Stephen, Det Con Paul Jennings, Wayne Pugh (now a civilian police worker) and former officers Graham Mouncher, Richard Powell, Thomas Page, Michael Daniels, John Brian Gillard, Peter Greenwood, John Seaford, Rachel O'Brien and Stephen Hicks.
Civilians Violet Perriam and Ian Massey are summonsed with two counts of perjury in relation to the evidence they gave at the murder trials.