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R v. “Mouncher and Others' Trial” (Investigation)

Volume 593: debated on Thursday 26 February 2015

I have decided to call for an independent, QC-led investigation into the collapse of the R v. “Mouncher and others” 2011 trial.

Stephen Miller, John and Ronald Actie, Yusef Abdullahi and Anthony Paris were wrongfully prosecuted and stood trial in 1990 for the murder of Lynette White in 1988. Stephen Miller, Yusef Abdullahi and Anthony Paris were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, while John and Ronald Actie were acquitted. Ronald Actie and Yusef Abdullahi are deceased. The three surviving victims of the miscarriage of justice, Stephen Miller, John Actie and Anthony Paris, are the claimants in this case.

The 2011 trial (R v. “Mouncher and others”) of police officers for offences connected with the 1990 trial, including conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and perjury, collapsed.

I have asked Richard Horwell QC to carry out this investigation and he has agreed. Mr Horwell is an excellent QC with experience of both prosecution and defence work. He is currently counsel for the Metropolitan Police Service in the Litvinenko inquiry.

He will be supported by a junior barrister, Patrick Hill, from the same chambers, to assist with the groundwork involved.

The investigation team has agreed the terms of reference with the three surviving victims of the miscarriage of justice and I will arrange for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House. The investigation will begin on 2 March 2015 and will aim to complete its findings by summer 2015. The team will report to me and I intend to publish the investigation’s report.

The purpose of the investigation is to understand how the collapse of the 2011 trial came about, covering all questions of resources, performance and conduct which were not addressed by the previous investigations. In particular, it will explore:

The reasons why leading counsel for the Crown lost confidence in the disclosure process and the prosecution was therefore abandoned.

Whether 227 boxes of documents were overlooked and the contents not considered for the purposes of disclosure in the prosecution.

The investigation team is calling for evidence to be submitted to the investigation for consideration alongside the significant amount of material to be made available by South Wales police. Evidence should be sent to operationmouncher@3rblaw.com

I am grateful to the chief constable of South Wales police for the support he has offered to the investigation.

[HCWS312]