John Davies not guilty of murdering wife Colette on India honeymoon

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Colette Davies
Image caption,
Colette Davies died while on honeymoon

A man accused of murdering his wife on their honeymoon in India in 2004 has been released after the prosecution offered no evidence against him.

John Davies, 50, was formally found not guilty of murder and fraud at Cardiff Crown Court.

He had been accused of murdering his wife Colette Davies, 39, from Bridgend.

She died after falling 80ft (24m) from a viewing point at a steep gorge in Gaura in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.

Mr Davies had been accused of murder and making "fake representation" by fraudulently claiming £132,000 from a life insurance policy.

All charges were dropped on Tuesday, after new witnesses came forward.

'Significant' information

Felicity Galvin, senior crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Wales, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has been working closely with South Wales Police as their investigation into the 2004 death of Colette Davies has developed.

"In November 2011 the CPS advised that, based on the evidence available at that time, John Clifton Davies should be charged with murder and two counts of fraud.

"As is normal in cases such as this, the police investigation continued after charges were laid.

Image caption,
Police continued investigating after charges against John Clifton Davies

"As part of that investigation, officers from South Wales Police recently visited the Himachal Pradesh region of India.

"During that visit the police became aware of significant new information including statements from two people, who had not previously come forward, who could potentially provide direct eyewitness evidence.

"This new information could be said to undermine the prosecution case.

"In the light of these developments, the CPS reviewed the case again and concluded that the evidential requirements laid out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors are no longer met in relation to both the murder and fraud charges.

"As a result, prosecution counsel has formally advised the court that we are offering no evidence against John Clifton Davies in this case.

"All parties involved have been fully informed of these developments."

Mrs Davies and her husband, who is from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, married 14 months before her death and had delayed their honeymoon in order to visit India.

In November 2011, her family appealed for more information about her death.

In a statement they described her as a "kind and considerate person" adding: "Colette was a much loved and sadly missed mother, daughter, sister, aunty and friend."

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