South East Wales

Lynette White case: Men's compensation money differed

Lynette White
Image caption Lynette White was stabbed more than 50 times in the flat where she worked

Some of the five men wrongly detained over the murder of Cardiff prostitute Lynette White received different levels of compensation, a trial has heard.

Stephen Miller received £571,000, while Tony Paris, who spent only two days fewer in jail, was paid only £250,000.

John Actie, who spent half as much time behind bars, settled for £300,000.

Eight former police officers deny perverting the course of justice over the case against the men, known as the Cardiff Five, and the trial continues.

The men were arrested over the killing of Ms White, who was stabbed more than 50 times in her Cardiff flat on Valentine's Day, 1988.

Mr Miller, Mr Actie's cousin, Ronnie Actie, and Yusef Abdullahi were arrested on December 7, 1988, and Mr Paris and Mr Actie two days later.

They five went on trial in 1990 for the murder of Miss White and became known as the Cardiff Five.

John and Ronnie Actie were released from custody in November 1990, after a jury found them not guilty.

Mr Miller, Mr Abdullahi and Mr Paris were convicted and jailed for life but released in 1992 when the Court of Appeal quashed their convictions.

In 2003, advances in DNA led new officers to Jeffrey Gafoor, who admitted the murder and said he had acted alone. He is serving a life sentence.

Each of the five men were initially awarded undisclosed amounts in compensation by the Home Office but after Gafoor's conviction, the men launched civil proceedings against South Wales Police.

Peter Murphy QC, representing former Det Con Peter Greenwood, put it to Mr Paris that the Home Office award and the civil settlement totalled £343,000 in his case.

He said that was not correct and that he had received £250,000.

The prosecution claim that police conducted a "proper" investigation into the murder of Ms White but by October the investigation was getting nowhere and some detectives then "fitted up" those they thought had been responsible, by bullying witnesses into giving false statements.

Under cross-examination, Mr Paris said he could not explain why he had told his solicitors that two London drug dealers had been in Cardiff searching for Mr Miller, Miss White's boyfriend, because he owed them £3,000.

Axe and knife

He agreed that a few days after the murder he had been arrested for shoplifting and, while he was in custody, a police officer had gone to his one-bedroom flat.

But, he said, the officer was wrong when he reported that he had noticed a "recently sharpened, very sharp" axe just inside the front door and a large knife under his pillow.

Mr Paris said he had had an axe and a knife in those days, but they had not been kept in the locations described by the officer.

All the police officers deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. One officer also denies two counts of perjury.

Two other people also deny perjury.

The trial continues.

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