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Who were the Cardiff Five?

Who were the Cardiff Five

The Cardiff Five were wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of Lynette White in 1988.

Three were convicted, but their sentences were later overturned on appeal because of the unfairness of their interviews and trials. But who were they, and what followed?

Who were the Cardiff Five?
A new true crime series looks at the scandal that saw the Cardiff Five wrongly convicted of Lynette White’s murder

Who were the Cardiff Five?

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

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

John Actie

Miller’s acquaintance John Actie was dragged into the murder case.

He earned a reputation in Cardiff as a “hard man,” and he had previously been involved in a racially motivated incident with police, in which he was “badly beaten” by a group of 11 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.

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.

Tony Paris

Tony Paris was one of the Cardiff Five involved in White’s murder investigation.

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

After his cellmate, convicted armed robber and known tattler Ian Massey, claimed he confessed to him, he ended up spending four years in prison for White’s death.

Paris’ marriage fell apart during his tenure, and he revealed that he now sees a psychiatrist once a month as a result of his ordeal.

Despite spending only two days less in jail than Miller, Paris received only £250,000 for being wrongfully imprisoned.

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”.

Yusef ‘Dullah’ Abdullahi

Yusef ‘Dullah’ Abdullahi was also convicted of White’s murder, despite the fact that 13 witnesses confirmed he was working 10 miles away in Barry docks that night.

In 1992, he was cleared along with Miller and Paris, but he was said to have “struggled” to come to terms with his life after prison.

Following his release, he embarked on an 18-month speaking tour about miscarriages of justice, where he met high-profile figures such as U2 frontman Bono.

However, he admitted to collapsing from nervous exhaustion, waking up in a psychiatric bed, and being “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?

The horrific murder of 20-year-old White shook Cardiff.

Witnesses reported seeing a white male leave the area shortly after Lynette was stabbed, with his hand heavily bleeding.

He was said to be crying and mumbling incoherently, but cops were unable to locate him.

Despite police describing the white suspect’s features as “very distinctive,” five men were arrested ten months later 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 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 tells the story of the Cardiff Five and their fight to clear their names.

Three explosive episodes follow them from their arrests to their trial – the longest murder trial in British history – and the police corruption that surrounded the case.

While honoring the five victims of the miscarriage of justice, it also honors Lynnette White.

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

The episode of A Killing In Tiger first aired on September 9, 2021, at 9pm on BBC One Wales and BBC Two across the UK.



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