Murder of Lynette White
Lynette Deborah White (5 July 1967 – 14 February 1988) was murdered on 14 February 1988 in Cardiff, Wales. South Wales Police issued a photofit image of a white male seen in the vicinity at the time of the murder but were unable to trace the man. In November 1988 the police charged five mixed-race men with White's murder, although none of the scientific evidence discovered at the crime scene could be linked to them. In November 1990, following the then longest murder trial in British history, three of the men were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.In December 1992 the convictions were ruled unsafe and quashed by the Court of Appeal after it was decided that the police investigating the murder had acted improperly. The wrongful conviction of the three men has been called one of the most egregious miscarriages of justice in recent times. The police insisted that the men had been released purely on a legal technicality, and resisted calls for the case to be reopened.In January 2002 new DNA technology enabled forensic scientists to obtain a reliable crime scene DNA profile. The extracted profile led police to the real killer, Jeffrey Gafoor, who confessed to White's murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Controversially, Gafoor received a shorter minimum tariff (the length of time before a prisoner may be considered for parole) than had been given to the wrongfully convicted men.In 2004 the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) began a review of the conduct of the police during the original inquiry. Over the next 12 months around 30 people were arrested in connection with the investigation, 19 of whom were serving or retired police officers. In 2007 three of the prosecution witnesses who gave evidence at the original murder trial were convicted of perjury and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. In 2011 eight former police officers were charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice. Their subsequent trial was the largest police corruption trial in British criminal history. A further four police officers were due to be tried on the same charges in 2012. In November 2011 the trial collapsed when the defence claimed that copies of files which they said they should have seen had instead been destroyed. As a result, the judge ruled that the defendants could not receive a fair trial and they were acquitted. In January 2012 the missing documents were found, still in the original box in which they had been sent to South Wales Police by the IPCC.