Police 'made up statement in murder inquiry'

DETECTIVES fraudulently created a 153-page statement, destroyed original notes of interrogations, suppressed scientific tests and planted incriminating evidence in order to secure the convictions of two Swansea men for murder, it was alleged in the Court of Appeal yesterday.

Maurice Kay QC, appearing for Wayne Darvell, 30, who was convicted with his brother Paul, 31, of the murder in June 1985 of a Swansea woman told the court: 'The police investigation succumbed to the temptation to put forward false evidence to strengthen a weak case.'

South Wales Police had produced 'thoroughly dishonest evidence, constructed upon fraudulently created documents', Mr Kay told Lord Taylor, Mr Justice Swinton Thomas and Mr Justice Judge.

The Darvells were arrested the day after Sandra Phillips, 38, the manageress of a sex shop, was raped and battered to death and were convicted largely on the basis of Wayne Darvell's confession to police implicating his brother. Paul Darvell was sentenced to 20 years, his brother to 15 years.

Mr Kay said the confession was unreliable because Darvell was suggestible and of limited intelligence. Scientific tests had established that interview notes which detectives had sworn as contemporaneous had been made at a later date; the originals had disappeared.

A 153-page statement by a Det Con Jones, said to have been based on the interviews, was written beforehand and was the 'blueprint' for the notes; the statement itself had been 'doctored' and was the result of a process of 'refinement and redrafting.'

Further tests showed that a pocketbook of a Det Con Collins, which he said had been used on the day after the murder, had not in fact been issued until the following August.

Det Chief Supt Don Carsley, then head of South Wales CID had also, alleged Mr Kay, ordered fingerprint officers to stop work on a palmprint in blood found at the murder scene, which they were about to submit for enhancement tests, possibly leading to another suspect. The defence at the trial had only been told that tests had been insufficient for positive identification and not that eight experts had agreed it could not have come from either the defendants or the victim.

He said those in charge were doing their 'utmost to ensure there was no further line of inquiry which would produce evidence inconsistent with their prized confession'. This took on a 'sinister nature' when it became known that, contrary to normal procedure, the photographs and negatives of the palmprint were destroyed before the trial.

Mr Kay also alleged that a Det Con Green planted an earring - similar to that possibly worn by the murder victim - which he said he had discovered in the police car used to take Wayne Darvell to the police station.

The case was referred to the court after an inquiry by Devon and Cornwall police. The Crown Prosecution Service has indicated that the alleged irregularities discovered by the inquiry mean that it will not contest the appeal. The hearing continues today.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence