Police unlikely to face retrial despite 'shredded' evidence being found

 

A retrial of eight former policemen cleared of fabricating evidence which led to the wrongful conviction of the "Cardiff Three" for murder is "highly unlikely" despite the discovery of supposedly shredded files, whose absence brought the case down, legal experts said yesterday.

The four files were found this week, less than two months after a court was told that South Wales police officers, working on the team that was investigating former officers from the same force, had destroyed them.

Two inquiries have been launched into the role of prosecutors and police in the bungled case that cost an estimated £30m to bring to trial after a decade-long investigation. The officers were accused of fabricating evidence which led to the conviction of the so-called "Cardiff Three" for the murder of Cardiff prostitute Lynette White.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it was "impossible to say at this stage" whether the eight officers could face a new trial. A law introduced in 2005 scrapped the 800-year-old practice of "double jeopardy" – which prevented someone from being tried for the same crime twice – but only under certain strict circumstances. The law applies to 30 serious offences but not the charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice that the eight officers faced during the trial at Swansea Crown Court, which collapsed in December after five months. Winston Roddick QC, said any new trial: "Would be highly unlikely."

It remained unclear yesterday who found the files in their original boxes and where they were. South Wales police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which had overseen the police operation since 2004, declined to comment.

The officers – Graham Mouncher, Thomas Page, Richard Powell, John Seaford, Michael Daniels, Peter Greenwood, Paul Jennings and Paul Stephen – were involved in the original investigation into the murder. All deny any wrongdoing. Another four people, including two officers, were due to stand trial this year but the case was scrapped after the apparent destruction of the files.

The Cardiff Three – Tony Paris, Yusef Abdullahi and Stephen Miller – were wrongly jailed for life in 1990 for the murder. They were freed in 1992 after their convictions were quashed.

The case was reopened in 2000 and security guard Jeffrey Gafoor was jailed for life for the murder in July 2003.

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments