South East Wales

Lynette White worked 'even Christmas' to pay her pimp

Lynette White
Image caption Lynette White had been stabbed more than 50 times

Lynette White worked as a prostitute "day and night" and even Christmas Day to keep up with the financial demands of her pimp, a jury has been told.

Swansea Crown Court heard evidence from Leanne Vilday at the trial of ex-police officers who investigated Ms White's death.

Three innocent men were jailed for her murder but were later freed on appeal.

Eight ex-police officers deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The trial continues.

Two other people deny perjury.

Ms Vilday, who was also a prostitute when Ms White was murdered in February 1988, said the two were best friends.

She said Stephen Miller, a Londoner who had been in Cardiff for a short time, became both Ms White's boyfriend and her pimp.

Ms White became his only source of money and she felt under pressure to work the streets, said Ms Vilday told the court.

Ms White was pretty and popular she could earn £100 a night, Ms Vilday said.

Drugs

"She worked a lot and said she needed the money to give to Stephen Miller for his cocaine," Ms Vilday told the court.

"Lynette also used cocaine, I think daily.

"She was under pressure to make money all the time. She worked Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day."

Ms White was stabbed 50 times inside Flat 1, 7 James Street at about 3am on 14 February, 1988.

It is alleged that four people, including Ms Vilday, were pressurised by detectives into framing the so-called Cardiff Five.

Three of these men were jailed for murder in 1990, but were released in 1992 when the Court of Appeal quashed the convictions.

On Monday Ms Vilday told the court she "cracked" after DI Graham Mouncher showed her photos of "beaten up" children.

Cross examined on Tuesday by William Coker QC, Ms Vilday said her complaints about how she was treated in 1988 related only to Mr Mouncher and the then Det Con Rachel O'Brien.

In 2003, new DNA techniques led police to Jeffrey Gafoor and he was jailed for life after admitting the murder of Miss White.

Eight former officers involved in the 1988 probe, including Mr Mouncher, are accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

One of them, and two people who gave evidence, are also charged with perjury.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

The trial continues.

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