Biggest police corruption trial collapses after 'errors'
Published 02/12/2011 | 05:00
BRITAIN'S biggest police- corruption trial collapsed yesterday. Eight former policemen accused of perverting the course of justice over the wrongful conviction of three men for murder walked free due to a "serious error" by police when key documents were destroyed.
A second trial of four other former officers has been scrapped.
The inquiry into potential police corruption had been launched following the release of the 'Cardiff Three', who were wrongly convicted in 1990 of the murder of a prostitute, Lynette White (20). Two others were acquitted.
Ms White was found stabbed more than 50 times in her flat.
The three convicted men were eventually acquitted at the Court of Appeal in 1992.
Following a second investigation into the murder, Jeffrey Gafoor, a client of Ms White, pleaded guilty and is now serving a life sentence.
The probe was conducted by officers from the same force -- South Wales Police -- and was overseen by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
It led to the arrests in 2005 of members of the original murder squad and two others who had given evidence in the trial.
Swansea Crown Court heard claims yesterday that the senior investigating officer had told junior officers to dispose of files that prosecutors had said were relevant to the case.
The DPP has now ordered a full review of the prosecution. (© Independent News Service)