Who were the Cardiff Five?

THE case of the Cardiff Five is regarded as one of Britain's worst miscarriages of justice in history.

After a worldwide campaign unearthed the treachery and corruption of the police force, their convictions were overturned. But at what price?

Who were the Cardiff Five?

The Cardiff Five were a group of black and mixed-race men who were wrongly arrested for the murder of Lynette White.

The 20-year-old, who worked as a prostitute, was stabbed to death 50 times at her docklands flat in Cardiff on Valentine's Day in 1988.

Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller – known locally as Pineapple – was the boyfriend and pimp of White when she was brutally murdered.

He was coerced into falsely confessing to the killing after a relentless 13-hour police interview, where detectives intimidated and threatened him.

Miller's admission of guilt subsequently incriminated his co-defendants, who were also innocent.

Despite being aged 26 at the time, he had the mental age of an 11-year-old.

He said what he had told police "was all rubbish" and that he must have been "dazzled" at the time.

The now 52-year-old later received £571,000 in compensation after spending four years in jail for the crime he did not commit.

He was released on appeal and now lives in London, but cannot work and is said to avoid socialising.

John Actie

John Actie was an acquaintance of Miller's who was dragged into the murder case.

He acquired a reputation as a "hard man" in Cardiff and had previously experienced a racially motivated incident with police, where he was "badly beaten" by a group of 11 police officers.

Actie said he knew police were "fitting me up" after his first interview.

He said : “They were putting me with a group of other guys who I knew from the area but didn’t go around with. It didn’t make any sense.

"We didn’t bother with each other. One of them was my cousin, but even we weren’t close."

After Miller's confession, he was charged for White's murder alongside the other four men.

Actie was acquitted by a jury after spending two years in custody and received £300,000 in compensation.

Despite his freedom, he said he was later attacked in Cardiff due to his relation to the case.

Ronnie Actie

Ronnie Actie was John's cousin and co-defendant.

He was arrested in 1998 alongside other members of the Cardiff Five for his alleged role in the murder.

Actie was also released on appeal after spending two years behind bars for White's murder, despite their being no evidence connecting the men to the case.

Although he lived to see the real killer jailed, Actie passed away in 2007 from deep vein thrombosis aged 49.

It was reported that he had been "virtually living in a garden shed".

Tony Paris

Tony Paris was one of the Cardiff Five embroiled in White's murder case.

Unlike his co-defendants, he had no history of violence and had never been to prison but had a reputation as a local shoplifter.

He winded up spending four years in jail for White's death after his cellmate – a convicted armed robber and known tattler Ian Massey – claimed he had confessed to him.

During his stint, Paris' marriage broke down and he revealed he now visits a psychiatrist once a month after his hellish ordeal.

Despite spending just two days fewer than Miller in jail, Paris only received £250,000 for being wrongly imprisoned.

Yusef ‘Dullah’ Abdullahi

Yusef 'Dullah' Abdullahi was also convicted of White's murder – despite 13 people confirming he had been working 10 miles away in Barry docks that night.

He was later cleared alongside Miller and Paris in 1992 but was said to have "struggled" to come to terms with his life after prison.

He embarked on an 18-month speaking tour on miscarriages of justice after his release and rubbed shoulders with high-profile figures such as U2 front man Bono.

But he revealed he had collapsed from nervous exhaustion, woke up in a psychiatric bed and had been "really messed up" by his experiences.

"I was there for several months and people keep telling me to take it easier," he said. "But the whole situation had got to me. I mean one minute I was in jail, the next I'm sitting eating with Bono.

"Until it happens to you, no one can have any idea what it's like to be convicted for a murder you didn't commit."

Abdullahi passed away from a burst ulcer in January 2011, aged 49.

Why were the Cardiff Five arrested?

Cardiff was rocked by 20-year-old White's horrific murder.

Eye-witnesses reported seeing a white male leaving the area, shortly after Lynette was stabbed, whose hand was bleeding heavily.

He was said to be crying and mumbling incoherently, but cops couldn't track him down.

Although the white suspect's features were described by police as "very distinctive", ten months later, five men were arrested who did not match the description.

Bigoted officers desperate to get a result instead arrested the Cardiff Five – all black or mixed-raced men – despite there being no forensic evidence linking them to the crime.

The case exposed open the police corruption that had been plaguing Cardiff and saw the men wrongfully imprisoned.

In 2003, advances in DNA saw one of White's clients, Jeffrey Gafoor, was arrested for her murder.

He later admitted his guilt and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

When is A Killing in Tiger Bay on TV?

A Killing in Tiger Bay is a landmark true-crime series that will detail the story of the Cardiff Five and their fight to clear their names.

Three explosive episodes document the time from their arrest up to their trial – the longest murder trial in British history – and the police corruption that shrouded the case.

While paying tribute to the five victims of the miscarriage of justice, it also honours Lynnette White.

Some of the surviving members of the Cardiff Five will also feature in the programme.

A Killing In Tiger Bay will air on Thursday, September 9, 2021, at 9pm on BBC One Wales and BBC Two across the UK.

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