originally by: BBC News
published: 1st December 2011
South Wales Police says it has asked the police watchdog to investigate after the UK’s biggest case involving alleged police corruption collapsed. Eight former officers were cleared of perverting the course of justice at Swansea Crown Court after the wrongful conviction of three men for murder.
The judge ruled the officers and two other defendants, who were also found not guilty, could not get a fair trial. The case follows the murder of Cardiff prostitute Lynette White in 1988.
Files relating to complaints by an original defendant were said to be missing, and the director of public prosecutions said he was “extremely concerned”. The cost of the investigations and trials is thought to run into tens of millions. One estimate put it as high as £30m.
South Wales Police has referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and has said it would be inappropriate to comment further. Tony Paris, Yusef Abdullahi and Stephen Miller were wrongly jailed for life in 1990.
The officers involved in the original investigation of the case all denied conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Former officers Graham Mouncher, Thomas Page, Richard Powell, John Seaford, Michael Daniels, Peter Greenwood, Paul Jennings, Paul Stephen have now all been acquitted.
Ex-Ch Insp Page has called for an inquiry into why he and the other defendants were subjected to the lengthy investigation. In a trial which began at Swansea Crown Court in July, civilians Violet Perriam and Ian Massey also denied two counts of perjury. They have also been cleared.
The case, twice halted to discharge a jury member, ended in dramatic fashion on Thursday.