News story

Home Secretary announces investigation into collapsed police trial

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A QC-led investigation into the collapse of a police trial following the wrongful conviction of three people for the murder of Lynette White

Home Secretary Theresa May today announced the launch of a QC-led investigation into the collapse of the R v ‘Mouncher and others’ trial in 2011.

The trial of eight former South Wales police officers followed the wrongful conviction of three people for the murder of Lynette White in Cardiff in 1988.

Richard Horwell QC will lead the investigation, which will begin on 2 March 2015 and will aim to complete its findings by summer 2015.

The investigation will look into:

  • The reasons why Leading Counsel for the Crown lost confidence in the disclosure process and the prosecution was therefore abandoned.
  • Whether 227 boxes of documents were overlooked and the contents not considered for the purposes of disclosure in the prosecution.
  • Whether lessons have been learnt from the collapse of the ‘R v Mouncher and others’ trial.

Home Secretary Theresa May said:

The Government takes police integrity very seriously. It is at the heart of public confidence in the police and underpins our model of policing by consent.

It is nearly 25 years since three men were wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of Lynette White.

There are still unresolved questions surrounding the reasons why no one was found responsible for this appalling miscarriage of justice. That is why I have launched a QC-led Investigation into the collapse of this trial so the men who were wrongly convicted and the wider public will see these questions answered.

Stephen Miller, John and Ronald Actie, Yusef Abdullahi and Anthony Paris stood trial in 1990 for the murder of Ms White in 1988. Miller, Abdullahi and Paris were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment but were acquitted in December 1992 after a court of appeal quashed their convictions.

The 2011 trial of former South Wales police officers for offences connected with the 1990 trial, including conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and perjury, collapsed because of a series of disclosure failings on behalf of South Wales Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.