Beds, Herts & Bucks

Rachel Manning murder: Police apologise to Barri White and Keith Hyatt

Barri White (left) and Keith Hyatt
Image caption Barri White (left) and Keith Hyatt had their convictions quashed in 2007

Thames Valley Police have apologised to two men wrongly convicted over the murder of a 19-year-old woman from Milton Keynes in 2000.

In 2002, Barri White was found guilty of strangling Rachel Manning and his friend Keith Hyatt of perverting the course of justice. Both had their convictions quashed in 2007.

Det Ch Supt Rob Mason said he had met both men and "personally apologised".

On Wednesday, Shahidul Ahmed, 41, was jailed for life for the murder.

'Part of my life'

Shop assistant Miss Manning had been to a 1970s-themed fancy dress party and Chicago's nightclub with Mr White when she became lost in the early hours of 10 December 2000.

Mr White went to the home of Mr Hyatt, where he was staying, while Miss Manning walked off alone to catch a taxi.

The teenager was found dead in undergrowth at Woburn Golf Club two days later.

She had been strangled and her face disfigured with a steering lock.

The convictions of Mr White and Mr Hyatt were quashed after a BBC Rough Justice documentary questioned the forensic evidence used to convict them.

Mr White was then cleared in a re-trial in 2008.

He said the ordeal "will always be part of my life until the day I die, and I have to deal with that".

Ahmed, of Bletchley, was charged with the murder of Ms Manning when his DNA was linked to the case following his arrest for a sex attack in 2010.

He was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 17 years.

Following the conviction, Mr Mason, who led the investigation, told the BBC it was "appropriate" he had met both Mr White and Mr Hyatt.

"All I could do was personally apologise as I have done and also hopefully [Ahmed's conviction] will assist in proving that [Mr White] categorically did not kill Rachel," he said.

"We have identified the real killer and he is now behind bars."

Mr Hyatt said all the police who had been at Luton Crown Court for Ahmed's trial had all been "really good".

"They all had the courage to come up, shake our hands and say 'sorry about this' and I accept that from them," he said.

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