There are many occasions where miscarriages of justice have taken place; however, the case of the Cardiff Three as it came to be known represents the glaring inadequacies of the British criminal justice system. That such a heinous crime as the murder of Lynette White should result in the scandalous convictions of three of the five men originally charged serves to further compound what can only be described as a disgraceful travesty of justice. Satish Sekar’s book provides a meticulous analysis of events covering the arrest, investigation, trials and the eventual exoneration of the Cardiff Three, culminating in the murder inquiry being re-opened as a direct result of his research.
Indeed, this book exposes major flaws in the legal process and also the application of forensic science examinations of scene of crime evidence crucial to the identification of the real murderer of Lynette White. This book is important not only in terms of a historical record, but as a key text for lawyers, law students, miscarriage of justice campaigners and the public as a whole. It illustrates the dangers of moral panic over-riding the professionalism and integrity of South Wales Police, graphically illustrated by the outrageous interviewing methods that they used on Stephen Miller.
Our involvement in this case was prompted by the father of one of the defendants contacting me. I was immediately disgusted at the obvious injustice relating to this case and was motivated by my belief that had the Cardiff been white they would never have been arrested, let alone convicted. Indeed, this case is particularly difficult to understand. The prime suspect was a white sex offender with an appalling record of crimes against children. Yet ignoring a strong circumstantial case against this man and two photofits of white men urgently sought by police who were never traced, the police preferred to bring an absolutely ludicrous case against five innocent black men.
Can anyone really believe that such a case could have been tolerated for a single second if the police had a black child abuser as their prime suspect and ignored a stronger case against him in order to pursue five innocent white men? Change black for white and that is exactly what happened in this case. Such racism has no place in a competent criminal justice system.
As an active member of the Cardiff Three Campaign I was crucially aware of the importance of the investigative work being carried out by Satish Sekar. However, it is only in re-examining the key facts outlined in this book that a full realisation of the value of his work, combined with that of a radical campaign, can be achieved. It is work such as this which bring the full facts of cases such as the Cardiff Three into the public domain.
I recommend it to you and my hope would be that it prompts legislative and policy reform in the vital areas of the criminal justice system and the way that forensic science can be abused in circumstances where the lack of forensic evidence all but proved the innocence of the five men who originally stood trial for the murder of Lynette. The Cardiff Three, their families and friends; indeed, society and the memory of Lynette White deserved far better.