South Wales Police statement following publication of report by Richard Horwell QC
South Wales Police has been determined to find the truth about Lynette White’s tragic murder in 1988 and to investigate alleged police wrongdoing in the first investigation. This commitment led to the conviction of Jeffrey Gafoor for Lynette’s murder.
We have fully participated in the investigation undertaken by Richard Horwell, QC, as well as those conducted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate. Mr Horwell QC was particularly concerned with the investigation and prosecution of former officers, leading to a trial that was discontinued.
We welcome the report, published today, in which Mr Horwell QC acknowledges the scale and complexity of the disclosure process in that matter. In the same way as significant civil litigation and the other reviews of the discontinued trial have found, he concluded there was no evidence of corruption, malice or misfeasance within the investigation of the former officers and has rejected the need for a public inquiry.
A series of recommendations for national bodies contained within the report relate to how disclosure is managed and to disclosure training. Mr Horwell QC recognises the work that South Wales Police has already undertaken to respond to these challenges and we will continue to work with colleagues nationally to share our learning.
Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said: “Before my election as Commissioner, I was Member of Parliament for the area where Lynette’s murder took place and I have followed events with care from the start.
“29 years after this tragic murder took place, we now have a far greater understanding of all the events, and of the role of each organisation leading up to the collapse of the criminal trial into alleged police wrongdoing in the original murder investigation.
“I welcome this comprehensive review of the history of this case as it has looked at the role of all parties, including the Crown Prosecution Service, the Independent Police Complaints Commission and at what happened during the court process. This has not been subject to the same close scrutiny as the work of South Wales Police which has been studied in detail from the very earliest the early stages. I have seen the enormous care with which the current Chief Constable and his team have left no stone unturned in efforts to get to the bottom of the whole affair. I hope the thoroughness of this report will now have addressed all the concerns that have been raised over recent years and provide reassurance to all those affected by Lynette’s murder and subsequent events.”