A Killing in Tiger Bay puts one of Britain’s most controversial murder trials under the microscope. Lynette White was murdered on Valentine’s Day 1988 and five innocent men were found guilty of the crime. It wasn’t until three decades later that they were exonerated thanks to new DNA evidence.
Lynette, 20, was a sex worker who was found stabbed to death in her flat which was then known as Cardiff’s docklands.
Despite eyewitnesses who saw a white man flee from the scene, five black and mixed-race men were arrested and charged.
They were John Actie, Ronnie Actie, Stephen Miller, Tony Paris and Yusef Abdullahi.
While cousins John and Ronnie Actie were released, the remaining three were found guilty of her murder and all sentenced to life imprisonment.
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Two years later, following a major campaign, Miller, Paris and Abdullahi were released.
In December 1992, it was decided by the Court of Appeal the police investigating Lynette’s murder had acted improperly.
Upon their release, there were calls for the case to be reopened but the police stated that they were not looking for any other witnesses.
The real killer wasn’t discovered until years after the crime had been committed.
Where is Lynette White’s killer Jeffrey Cafoor now?
In 2003, advances in technology meant better DNA results could be obtained from the crime scene.
It was through this method one of Lynette’s clients Jeffrey Gafoor, a 37-year-old security guard was discovered.
He was arrested and later, Gafoor admitted to killing the young woman, leading to him being charged with her murder.
Gafoor reportedly said he stabbed Lynette following a row over £30.
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He was given a life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum of 13 years.
Last year, Gafoor was moved to an open prison and refused parole for the third time.
A summary of a Parole Board hearing stated he was making progress since the transfer but the Covid-19 restrictions had stopped him from “making as much progress as hoped”.
Gafoor was first considered for parole in 2016 and then again in March 2018.
However, it also stated Gafoor would be eligible for another parole review in due course.
Speaking at the court during Gafoor’s sentencing, Patrick Harrington QC, prosecuting, said: “He did not simply kill, he attacked in a barbaric manner, cutting, stabbing and slashing his victim over 50 times, cutting her throat, slashing both wrists, cutting, stabbing and slashing her face, arm and especially the torso.
“It is tempting to talk of the defendant having attacked in a frenzy, but the pattern of distribution of injuries suggests a particular mindset.”
A Killing in Tiger Bay will conclude tonight, Thursday, September 23, at 9pm on BBC Two.
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