Do Not Allow (DNA)

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David Morris’ sister Debra has campaigned to prove his innocence from the start – and is now writing letters to her MP and MS

The sister of a man protesting at his conviction for one of the worst murders in Wales is boosting her campaign to prove his innocence in the wake of the General Election (GE) result.

Debra Thomas (nee Morris) plans to write to her new MP and MS (Member of the Senedd) galvanising support for the release in full of a controversial report, without redactions, supposedly revealing DNA analysis which headline-grabbing South Wales Police (SWP) have refused to release, but which they declare proves her brother’s guilt.

“I can’t just let this lie”, Ms Morris told The Eye. “South Wales Police have been responsible for so many miscarriages, yet they expect us to trust us on this one. But I KNOW my brother was not a murderer. I will now be writing to my MP and MS trying to get support for the police to release this unredacted DNA report. Hopefully now after the election something may happen.”

Campaigners supported David (Dai) Morris, before he died in prison still protesting his innocence

David ‘Dai’ Morris died in jail protesting his innocence of the horrific Clydach murders in 1999, when four people (Mandy Power her elderly disabled mother Doris, and two young children) were brutally beaten to death, and for many years people have campaigned in his support.

Sky documentaries, called Murder in the Valleys (MITV), and a BBC TV Panorama programme presented by our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry, were transmitted looking into the case. The Sky broadcasts were nominated for two awards at the BAFTA Cymru ceremony, including one for best Factual Series, and the Panorama episode secured a prize.

Did the police cross the line?

Morris was convicted in TWO trials of murdering the four people, but ever since there have been major questions about the behaviour by SWP during the investigation, which was the biggest they had ever conducted. The contentious DNA result was allegedly a specimen of Morris’s on a sock which police believe held the murder weapon, and SWP trumpeted the finding, but they have always refused to release the full unredacted report.

There is little to smile about for David Thorne, but he has insisted that David Morris’ conviction is safe

In a letter to Morris’s legal team, Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) David Thorne wrote: In the interests of transparency and independence Operation Dolomite was completed by Devon and Cornwall Police using independent scientists and has provided evidential answers to questions asked and in doing so has confirmed that the conviction of David Morris was safe…we believe that disclosure of the closure report and forensic documents would be inappropriate and insensitive.”

There have been an incredible number of miscarriage of justices

As Ms Thomas has alluded to, SWP have been behind an extraordinary number of miscarriages of justice, and there have been political moves to highlight them. There have also been demands for a legal investigation into these high-profile miscarriages of justice in the 1980s, ’90s, and 2000s. They include: The Cardiff Three (Five), The Cardiff Newsagent Three, The Darvell Brothers, Jonathan Jones (The Tooze Murders), as well as Annette Hewins. More action is planned by The Cardiff Five support group over the coming weeks, to draw attention to these cases.

MPs are not happy

However this shameful list does NOT have on it all those innocent people who were convicted of less important crimes than murder, yet who now have a record which will affect them for the rest of their lives. There is a powerful argument for getting rid of SWP completely, as confidence generally in the police plummets.

Anger over the miscarriages of justices, has led to the tabling of an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the UK Parliament which was signed by several MPs, emphasising growing calls for a judicial review.

Liz Saville-Roberts, MP, leader of Plaid Cymru in the House of Commons, tabled the motion highlighting miscarriages by South Wales Police which called for a judicial inquiry

It proclaimed: “…this House notes the series of cases since the 1980s investigated by South Wales Police force that resulted in wrongful convictions; further notes the devastating impact that wrongful accusation and imprisonment can have on people subject to miscarriages of justice; expresses concern that many of the perpetrators of these crimes have yet to be found; and calls on the Ministry of Justice to organise a judicial inquiry into all miscarriages of justice that took place between 1982 and 2016”. The motion was immediately signed by three Plaid Cymru (Plaid) MPs, including the party’s leader in the House of Commons (HoC), who tabled the motion, Liz Saville-Roberts.

Website where Debra Thomas and David Morris’ daughter showed their frustration

Apart from the Sky and BBC programmes, another on 5Star (which pretended to be looking into ‘cold cases’) was VERY different, and incurred the wrath of many close to what had happened. 5Star is a free-to-air television channel owned by Paramount Networks UK & Australiaand a sister to Channel 5, which specialises in documentaries. One of the daughters of Mr Morris, Janiene Marie O’Sullivan, publicly declared to her dedicated website group: “I am finding it difficult to put into words how it made me feel….Basically it was a whole hour of Martin Lloyd-Evans (who led the investigation into the Clydach Murderstalking rubbish!…South Wales police have done themselves no favours again with this one”.

Ms Thomas also said on the site: “Can you believe the utter verbal diarrhoea Martin Lloyd was spouting in that cheap channel 5 program…I also know the journalist is on this group so I hope and pray she gets to read this.”  And: “What disgraceful journalism!! They should hang their heads in shame”.

The website Mrs Thomas helped set up, along with her niece, questions her brother’s guilt and has almost 31,000 members. On it she published a reply from Channel 5 to her complaint about the programme, but above the letter she wrote: “What research did they do????”.

Mandy Power, her two daughters Katie and Emily, along with disabled mother Doris Dawson, were all beaten to death

The successful prosecution case against Mr Morris was that he had gone to Ms Power’s looking for sex, high on drink and drugs, been spurned and beat the entire family to death, leaving his chain there in the process. Yet the evidence suggested Doris had been killed first, NOT her daughter, when presumably it would have been the person doing the spurning who would have died FIRST!

Mike O’Brien (one of the so-called Cardiff Newsagent Three) appears on MITV saying that he believes the conviction of Mr Morris IS in fact another miscarriage of justice. He told the MITV documentary-makers:  “When I was released from prison I remember…saying ‘I’m going to be South Wales Police’s worst nightmare for what they did to me’, and I meant every word of it”.

David Thorne of South Wales Police on Sky’s ‘Murder in the Valleys’ – ‘We got it wrong, but this time we are right’

In a formal interview for MITV (they wouldn’t do one with Phil), Mr Thorne made a startling admission about the mistakes that were made by the police in the earlier miscarriages of justice, when the forensic review had found that the traces of DNA were “more likely than not” to have come from Mr Morris.

David Morris’ sister, Debra (now Thomas) with parents after the first conviction: ‘They’ve got the wrong man’

They effectively said at the time:  ‘We know we got it wrong in the past, but this time is different. Trust us’. Yet a long-running campaign has been launched to establish Mr Morris’s innocence, and after the first trial when he was convicted, Debra gave a tearful press conference with her parents when she stressed her belief that her brother was NOT guilty. She said: “He just didn’t do these things…they’ve got the wrong man”.

ACC Thorne, though, insisted on MITV, that Mr Morris was the RIGHT man, but acknowledged that errors had been made in previous police inquiries. He proclaimed:  “It’s safe to say we got it wrong (in the past).  We absolutely got it wrong. (There were) HUGE errors in the way investigations were conducted (but) we HAVEN’T found that in this case.  This is not a miscarriage of justice”.

Phil Parry confronted Stuart Lewis on BBC Panorama in 2003 which first questioned the way the police had behaved

However Phil had made the BBC Panorama television programme about the shocking Clydach Murders a few years after they had been committed, and he was the first to question the police actions during the investigation.  As he said in the opening of the programme: “One police force in Britain has a disturbing record of locking up the wrong people in murder cases”.

During MITV, the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) at the time, Detective Superintendent (DS) (Retd.) of SWP Martyn LloydEvans (who used the word ‘sublime’ when he meant ‘subdued’!), is questioned about the apparent mistake of not releasing to the public a witnesses E-Fit constructed soon after the murders, which, it said, had a 90 per cent likeness. He replies that because the man seen was carrying a bag, and it was believed the killer did not have one, it was not put out.

Martyn Lloyd-Evans should look up what words mean!

Mr Evans said: “I didn’t think it was relevant”, but the E-Fit matched almost exactly the face of the first senior police officer on the scene, Inspector (at the time) Stuart Lewis, who (against all procedure) had only stayed there a matter of minutes, or that of his identical twin brother (another police officer, Sergeant [also at the time] Stephen Lewis, whose wife was having a gay affair with one of the victims). Inspector Stuart Lewis, had changed his shift to be on that night, yet at crucial hours during the murders his whereabouts were unknown. He was driving a red Peugeot diesel, and a car similar to this was spotted near the murder scene. So to say the E-Fit was ‘not relevant’, appeared bizarre in the extreme, to critics of the police.

Martyn Lloyd Evans on ‘Murder in the Valleys’, didn’t think an E-Fit was ‘relevant’

However Mr Evans’ record was considered so exemplary he was later chosen to examine cold cases in the Major Crime Review unit. In 2009, he said: “What we do is use today’s technology on yesterday’s cases which means that offenders who may think that they are safe 20 years after a crime has been committed aren’t any more and could receive a knock on the door any day”.

Wynne Phillips, formerly head of CID South Wales Police on ‘Murder in the Valleys’ – ‘We can’t manufacture evidence’

In the MITV films Mr Evans’ boss as the then head of SWP CIDWynne Phillips, also said something incredible: “We can’t manufacture evidence”. But events before the murders, showed that SWP have done EXACTLY that.

To take just one of those cases (in which Phil was intimately involved, because he had made ANOTHER programme questioning THAT conviction [The Cardiff Newsagent Three]), the police MANUFACTURED (as Mr Phillips said they DIDN’T do) an overheard ‘confession’ between the young men they had arrested, when an admission was effectively made to the murder of the newsagent, and they presented before the court ‘EVIDENCE’ that the group had run from the scene, but one of the three had bad legs and couldn’t run at all.

New research highlights actions by the police

Now comes more evidence – that the sister of a man she believes was wrongly convicted of one of the worst murders in Welsh history, is now writing to her political representatives to raise awareness of her brother’s innocence.

 

The memories of Phil’sremarkable decades long award-winning career in journalism (during which the mistakes of the police were often brought out) as he was gripped by the rare and incurable neurological disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major book ‘A GOOD STORY’ (including The Cardiff Newsagent Three case). Order the book now!

‘BUY MY BOOK!’

Regrettably publication of another book, however, was refused, because it was to have included names.

Tomorrow – during 23 years with the BBC, and 40 years in journalism, a major factor has driven many of the stories covered by Phil; population growth, and new figures showing that numbers may be about to decline relatively in many countries underline this.