Murder most foul…

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Today is the 25th anniversary of one of the worst murders in the history of the force concerned – South Wales Police (SWP) (the largest in Wales) – when four people were bludgeoned to death.

The Clydach Murders.

‘Who did it?’

Several publishers were contacted in relation to a book about the terrible crime and the flawed police investigation afterwards, but none were interested. Two refused point blank to touch it, and three did not respond at all.

We therefore publish here the introduction to this book, by our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry, who has followed this extraordinary case from the start, and fronted a BBC TV Panorama examining it, where he was the first to question the actions of SWP.

 

Courts heard that David ‘Dai’ Morris was a crazed killer

David ‘Dai’ Morris stood before the door crazed after drinking heavily and taking drugs. He wanted sex and knew exactly where to get it – the woman he was having an affair with, Mandy Power.

It was late one night in June 1999, and the pub where he was a regular had just closed its doors.

Morris had walked to Mandy’s house in the little South Wales town of Clydach, after he left The Masons’ Arms, determined to get his way.

But Mandy had other ideas, and refused him.

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

This, though, enraged Morris, and he lashed out – beating her, and the entire family to death, leaving behind him the decorative gold chain he wore around his neck, because it had snapped off in the struggle.

Horrific injuries were sustained by the victims in the appalling attack as they fled from room to room.

Mandy, aged 34, her disabled mother, Doris, who was 80, as well as her two young daughters, Emily eight, and Katie 10, simply could not fend off the madman. The house was then set ablaze in an effort to hide the awful crime.

Patrick Harrington said it was a “massacre”

The prosecuting barrister, Patrick Harrington QC (at the time), in the second of TWO trials where Morris was convicted, called it a “massacre” and “orgy of savagery”.

The Judge who jailed him for life, Mr Justice Butterfield, described it as “a murder of exceptional savagery”.

Phil has spoken out

That, at least, is part of one of the successful prosecution cases against Morris, who died in prison in 2020 still protesting his innocence. The facts, however, do not fit with this story, and there are major questions about the huge police investigation which followed the killings.

As my Wikiepedia page declares: “The 2003 BBC Wales Panorama programme “Fair Cops”, presented by Parry, questioned the police investigation of Clydach murderer David Morris. South Wales Police Detective Inspector Shane Ahmed sued the BBC for defamation, and won an out of court settlement. The programme won a BAFTA Cymru award for best current affairs programme in 2004″.

David Morris’s sister Debra has campaigned to prove his innocence from the start

Evidence suggests that Doris, not her daughter, may have been killed first, when it is likely that the person refusing sex would have been the initial person to die, not others.

Sky television programme called ‘Murder in the Valleys (MITV)’ looked at this astonishing case, which also featured other flawed inquiries by the force involved (South Wales Police [SWP]).

Morris’s sister Debra (a mental health nurse) has campaigned from the start for an official acceptance of her brother’s innocence, and says she doesn’t recognise the picture of him painted in court.

“I know my brother was no angel, but he certainly wasn’t a murderer”, she has declared.

David Morris was patient with children

“He was a great family man, and actually had more patience than I did.

“In fact when I had kids of my own and ever lost my temper with them, David would always say: ‘They’re only being children’.

David Morris loved animals

 “David also loved animals, and I was always coming home to some animal he had rescued. On one occasion I remember coming home to the sight of an owl in the bathroom, who’d had a broken wing”.

She supports a growing campaign for a legal inquiry, not just into her brother’s case, but others that have been shown to be gross miscarriages of justice by SWP.

David Morris was a big family man

There are now increasing demands for that investigation from others too, when the numbers have been exposed. They have taken place in the 1980s, ’90s, and 2000s and innocent people have been jailed wrongly.

They include: The Cardiff Three (Five), The Cardiff Newsagent Three, The Darvell Brothers, Jonathan Jones (The Tooze Murders), as well as Annette Hewins (The Gurnos Fire Case). More action is planned by The Cardiff Five support group to draw attention to these cases.

Michael O’Brien was one of those who was wrongly convicted (in The Cardiff Newsagent Three case), and spent 11 years in jail. Mr O’Brien appears on MITV saying that he believes the conviction of Mr Morris is another miscarriage of justice.

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

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”.

The first senior police officer on the scene of the Clydach Murders (Stuart Lewis) only stayed about nine minutes, and did not tell his colleagues he was witness to the aftermath of a terrible murder, even though he was known as ‘Inspector perfect’ in the force. Inspector (as he then was) Lewis, had changed his shift to be on that night and during crucial hours around the time of the deaths, he effectively went missing. Inspector Lewis was driving a red Peugeot diesel, and a car exactly like this was spotted near the murder scene, yet the log book which could have assisted inquiries, has disappeared.

Phil researching for the BBC TV Panorama – the case did not make sense

Inspector Lewis was ultimately suspended to be prosecuted with perverting the course of justice because of the mistakes he made on the night, but was never accused by SWP of involvement in the murders.

He was part of an enormous investigation which cost the police well over £6 million, but which was riddled with errors. The inquiry lasted 21 months and involved, at its height, 50 officers – it was by far the most expensive murder investigation SWP had EVER undertaken.

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

One of the key apparent mistakes was that an excellent E-fit constructed by an extremely reliable witness soon afterwards was never released to the public by the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Martyn Lloyd Evans.

In the Sky television programme after these incredible events, he said: “I didn’t think it was relevant”, but the E-Fit matched almost exactly the face of Inspector Lewis or that of his identical twin brother (another police officer), Sergeant (at the time) Stephen Lewis, whose wife was having an affair with one of the victims.

Stuart Lewis’ identical twin brother Stephen, and the ‘irrelevant’ E-fit which was never released to the public

It had been created by Nicola Williams, who had studied the man closely under a street lamp, and it was described officially as having a ’90 per cent likeness’.

So to say the E-Fit was ‘not relevant’, appeared bizarre in the extreme, to critics of the police.

Ms Williams had seen a man striding towards the scene of the murders, on Kelvin Road, in the small hours of the morning as she returned from a night out.

In Phil’s secret filming Stuart Lewis admitted the E-Fit bore a striking likeness to him and his identical twin brother Stephen

It seems that important aspects of the case were available within days, including a possible motive, and a witness, who had constructed a very good E-fit which was never released to the public.

All of these things pointed to someone else carrying out the appalling Clydach Murders.

 

The memories of Phil’s, remarkable decades long award-winning career in journalism (which included looking at cases like these) as he was gripped by the incurable neurological disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major book (which was actually published), ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now!

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

Tomorrow – Phil examines renewed criticism as well as support for Labour’s scheme to hit private schools with VAT, and as he went to one, his views are more important than most.