Socialist Worker

Police 'abused power' in Cardiff Three case

Issue No. 2363

Tony Paris, one of those convicted of Lynette White’s murder who was later acquitted, said, “In December 2011 I was robbed of the chance to see justice done to the police officers who stood accused of fitting me up for murder.

“I was let down by the system all over again.

“I had no confidence that these inquiries, which I was shut out of, would give me the answers that I deserved. I have been proved right. 

“Only a public inquiry stands the chance of getting to the truth and of bringing those that have failed me to account.”

John Actie said, “It seems that it is impossible for people like me to get true justice against the police where they have seriously abused their power and devastated people’s lives. 

“These investigation reports do not get to the bottom of all that went wrong.”

Their solicitor Kate Maynard of the law firm Hickman and Rose said, “The investigations indicate a disturbing degree of complacency and incompetence.”

One of the Cardiff three, Yusef Abdullahi, died in 2011.


Racists smear Butetown

There was racism involved in the case from the start.

The convictions smeared the whole Butetown community in Cardiff where much of the population was black or mixed race.

As Yusef told Socialist Worker, “Butetown was one of the oldest black communities in Britain. But with the development of Cardiff’s dockland it became a prime piece of land. 

When we were convicted of the murder it was used as an excuse to clear all the ordinary people out and build flats for the rich.”

The Crown Prosecution Service ignored many of its own guidelines in allowing the case to proceed to trial. The two trial judges then allowed inadmissible evidence. 

There would have been no justice without a campaign started by the three’s families and people in Butetown. 


Not conspiring to deny justice

Chief inspectors Graham Mouncher and Richard Powell, and Chief Superintendent Thomas Page, were alleged to have colluded with five other detectives to pervert the course of justice.

These were Michael Daniels, Paul Jennings, Paul Stephen, Peter Greenwood and John Seaford.

Four other ex-police officers were due to stand trial separately. All have been suspended on full pay since 2005.


Everyone jailed but the cops

Three people who admitted lying in the case were jailed for perjury.

Mark Grommek, Leanne Vilday and Angela Psaila (pictured) all gave evidence at the murder trial.

In their sentencing Justice Maddison said, “You were seriously hounded, bullied, threatened, abused and manipulated by the police during a period of several months leading up to late 1988, as a result of which you felt compelled to agree to false accounts they suggested to you.”


How a confession was extracted

The original convictions rested on a confession by Stephen Miller that he had murdered Lynette, his former girlfriend.

He had been questioned 19 times by police over four days. He later retracted his confession.

He said, “The police screwed my head up. I told them over 300 times that I didn’t know anything.” 


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