Saturday, July 09, 2011

Eight British detectives accused of framing trio for vice girl murder 'told fellow prostitute her children would be taken into care if she did not collude'

Bullying police told a mother that her children 'would be taken into care' if she didn't help frame three innocent men for murder, a court heard today.

Eight detectives allegedly framed five men over the killing of prostitute Lynette White, 20, after failing to solve her murder and now stand charged with persuading her friend to change her evidence.

In what is thought to be the UK's biggest ever police corruption case, the retired officers are accused of conspiring to 'mould, manipulate, influence and fabricate evidence' which led to three men being wrongly jailed for the murder of Lynette White.

The 20-year-old vice girl was stabbed more than 50 times at a flat in the docks area of Cardiff on Valentine's Day in 1988.

Stephen Miller, Yusef Abdullahi and Anthony Paris - who became known as the 'Cardiff Three' - were convicted of her murder in 1990 before being freed by the Court of Appeal in 1992.

Chief superintendent Thomas Page, 62, chief inspectors Graham Mouncher, 59, and Richard Powell, 58, are said to have colluded with five other detectives, Michael Daniels, 62, Paul Jennings, 51, Paul Stephen, 50, Peter Greenwood, 59 and John Seaford, 62, to fix evidence and pervert the course of justice. All deny the charges.

Swansea Crown Court was told how fellow prostitute Leanne Vilday was friends with Lynette, 20, but was 'persuaded completely to change her evidence.' Vilday was allegedly told to place innocent men Stephen Miller, Yusef Abdullahi and Tony Paris at the scene of Lynette's brutal murder.

Retired Detective Inspector Grahame Mouncher is accused of threatening her - and showed her photographs of other children taken away from their mothers.

Prosecutor Nicholas Deans QC said: 'Two detectives were responsible for moulding and manipulating what she had to say but it was Graham Mouncher who "broke" her. 'Mouncher told her she would be charged with the murder of her friend Lynette. 'She remembers being shown photographs of young children who she was told were in care. That was what she was told would happen to her own young son.

'Eventually Vilday gave in and agreed with what she was being told she had seen and heard. Mouncher left the room and Vilday recalls hearing the sound of celebrations from a neighbouring room.'

Miller, Abdullahi and aris - known as the Cardiff Three - were jailed for life for murder in 1990 but later cleared on appeal.

In 2003 another man, Jeffrey Gafoor admitted killing Lynette after a cold-case review discovered his DNA in the flat where she died.

The court heard how the three innocent men were 'brain-washed' by officers after a series of lies.

The jury was told how Lynette's boyfriend was 'bullied' into 'confessing' he was at the scene on the night she died.

Mr Deans said: 'Another feature of the questioning of the original defendants was the willingness of police officers positively to mislead them - indeed to tell outright lies. 'It seems clear that officers were perfectly happy to use outright lies or deliberate deception in their efforts to obtain evidence.

'Miller was in effect brain washed over these 13 hours into repeating back to the officers facts they had asserted many times to him. 'This brain-washing succeeded in convincing Miller he must have been involved and was so effective Miller appears to have continued to believe what he'd been told he'd done for a period of time. 'Miller is clearly being bullied - short of physical violence it is hard to imagine a more hostile and intimidating approach.'

The retired officers all deny the charges.

Some officers were promoted after the conviction - Powell retired later as a Superintendent and Mouncher and Page as a Chief Inspectors.

Former trial witnesses Violet Perriman, 61, and Ian Massey, 57, both deny perjury.

Original report here

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