South East Wales

Lynette White case: Stephen Miller relives 'nightmare'

Stephen Miller
Image caption Stephen Miller told the court he loved Lynette White and wanted to marry her

A man wrongly convicted of the 1988 murder of Lynette White wept as he told a jury how police "put me through hell".

Stephen Miller, now 44, told Swansea Crown Court: "I have been dealing with this nightmare for 22 years."

Mr Miller, Yusef Abdullahi and Tony Paris were released after their convictions were quashed in 1992.

Eight ex-police officers deny conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Two other people deny perjury.

Nicholas Dean QC, prosecuting, asked him to recall police questioning when he was suspected of being her murderer.

Breaking down Mr Miller said: "Those guys put me through hell."

Mr Dean asked him to recall the officers who questioned him when he was charged with murder, nine months after the killing.

"I have been trying not too," said Mr Miller.

"I have been dealing with this nightmare for 22 years and it is not easy. It is really really difficult."

Speaking via a video link, Mr Miller told Swansea Crown Court he was aware that people had called him Miss White's pimp but it was not true.

He added adding that he had loved her and wanted to marry her.

He denied taking money from Miss White and forcing her into prostitution, adding that she had given him money to buy drugs, but only because she wanted to.

Street girl

Mr Miller said he disapproved of Miss White working as a street girl but she refused to stop and get a normal job.

"I didn't like what she was doing and we argued about it. She was fixated with it. She had been doing it for a long time and said it was easy money," he said.

Although they lived together in a flat in Dorset Street in Grangetown in the city, he said he did not see her after they had argued about five days before she died, in the early hours of February 14, 1988.

He told the court he had spent the days worrying about her and trying to find her.

But he denied accusations by police officers probing her death that his real motive in trying to find her was that he was desperate for money to buy cocaine with.

Miss White, 20, was stabbed more than 50 times inside a flat in James Street, Cardiff, which she had been using to entertain clients. Mr Miller said he had not known about the flat until after her death.

He said he did everything he could to help the police, and even began making his own enquiries.

"They asked me about my whereabouts and what I had been wearing. They asked for samples. I said they could have anything they wanted. I gave them my clothes," he said.

"It is right for the police to look at someone they suspect, but only if there is evidence.

"Only me, God, Lynette White and the person who did it know the truth.

"I was in a nightmarish daze. I was stressed out to the maximum."

Mr Miller said that when he was first questioned then Det Insp Richard Powell had been "polite, very polite."

But he said it all went "pear shaped" after his arrest in December, 1988. He was then interviewed by then Det Cons Peter Greenwood and John Seaford, who he described as "pretty disgraceful officers."

The jury has begun to listen to 13 hours of tape-recorded interviews. In the first of them, Det Con Greenwood can be heard telling Mr Miller that the police already had enough evidence to convict "several people" for Miss White's murder.

Mr Dean has said of the way Mr Miller was interviewed: "Short of physical violence, it is hard to imagine a more hostile and intimidating approach."

The jury has heard that in 2003 advances in DNA led police to arrest Jeffrey Gafoor, who confessed to the murder, said he had been alone and that he had never heard of or met any of the Cardiff Three.

Eight former police officers involved in the 1988 investigation are on trial charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice. They have all denied the charge.

The prosecution argue that they became convinced about what had happened to Miss White and bullied witnesses into giving false evidence.

The trial continues.

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