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Lynette White - Police Corruption Trial Collapses
Former detective Chief Inspector Graham Mouncher was today acquitted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and two counts of perjury arising from the Lynette White murder investigation. Seven other police officers were also acquitted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
After a five month trial at Swansea Crown Court, Mr Justice Sweeney directed the jury to acquit Mr Mouncher, 59, his colleagues and former trial witnesses Violet Perr iam and Ian Massey, who had both been charged with two counts of perjury.
Ms White was stabbed in excess of 50 times in a flat in Cardiff docks in February 1988. Two years later, three men - Stephen Miller, Yusef Abdullahi and Tony Paris – were convicted of her murder.
Their convictions were quashed in 1992. Following a reinvestigation, Jeffrey Gafoor was traced through DNA and was convicted in 2003.
In this trial, the prosecution alleged that the police, under Mr Mouncher's direction, had conspired together to 'manipulate, mould and fabricate' evidence against the original defendants in order to secure their convictions. It was alleged that a false confession had been extracted from Stephen Miller as a result of oppressive conduct and that witnesses had been pressured into giving false statements to implicate the persons who were eventually charged.
Mr Mouncher has always strenuously denied the allegations made against him. During the trial, he sought to test the assertion that Jeffrey Gafoor was the only person involved in the death of Lynette White, to challenge the evidence of witnesses who alleged that the police made them lie and to challenge the evidence of the original defendants, who claimed that they were in no way involved in her death. The prosecution have today abandoned the case without it being necessary Mr Mouncher or any of the other defendants to give a word of evidence in their defence.
The case is believed to be the biggest ever police corruption investigation and the cost to the public purse will run into several million pounds.
Anthony Barnfather, Head of Regulatory Investigations at law firm Pannone, said: “The trial against Mr Mouncher collapsed after serious flaws emerged in the prosecution case.
“It is particularly worrying that this is yet another large and expensive trial where the prosecution failed in its duty to disclose relevant material to the defence.
“Mr Mouncher has been subject to years of unimaginable pressure; however, he can finally put this behind him. He has always maintained the integrity of the original investigation and leaves the court with his professional reputation intact and his character unblemished.”
The eight other former officers accused alongside Mr Mouncher were: Det Sgt Paul Stephen, 50, Det Con Paul Jennings, 51, Det Insp Richard Powell, 58, Insp Thomas Page, 62, Det Con Michael Daniels, 62, Det Con Peter Greenwood, 59, and Det Con John Seaford, 62.
PR Consultant for and on behalf of Pannone Solicitors