A Killing in Tiger Bay: Who were the Cardiff Five?

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A Killing in Tiger Bay will tell the real-life story of the murder of 20-year-old Lynette White who was murdered in the 1980s. While the main suspect was a white male, five black and mixed-race men were arrested for the crime. Here’s everything you need to know about the Cardiff Five.

Who were the Cardiff Five?

On Valentine’s Day in 1988, Lynette White was stabbed to death 50 times at her docklands flat in Cardiff.

Eye-witnesses had seen a white male leaving the area shortly after the murder had been committed but after 10 months, he wasn’t found.

Despite no forensic evidence linking them to the crime scene, five men were arrested who did not match the description of the male that fled.

The police alleged the five had been involved in the ritual killing of White and were charged with her murder.

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The wrongly accused men, who became known as the Cardiff Five, were Stephen Miller, John Actie, Tony Paris, Ronnie Actie and Yusef ‘Dullah’ Abdullahi.

Miller, who was 26 at the time but had the mental age of an 11-year-old, was White’s boyfriend of two years.

Cousins John and Ronnie Actie were acquitted of the crime in 1990.

But Miller, Paris and Abdullahi, nicknamed the Cardiff Three, were found guilty and given life sentences for the crime.

They served two years in prison but following a major campaign to have them freed, they were cleared on appeal.

Unfortunately, the real killer was still out there until 1999 when the development in DNA technology had come on in leaps and bounds.

A bloodstain led them to 37-year-old security guard Jeffrey Gafoor who later confessed to White’s murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

But there was still the matter of the five men being coerced and wrongly accused of the crime.

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Speaking to Wales Online, John Actie, one of the accused, said: “My life hasn’t been normal for 30-odd years.

“It’s never going to be the same now even after all these years and the dust has settled.

“I was wronged, [the detectives] got away with it – I’m always going to be angry.

“The first couple of nights in jail I thought my cell door would open and they’d say: ‘There’s been a mistake John.’ But [the detectives] were at home – I don’t know how they could sleep at night.”

A Killing in Tiger Bay is a three-part documentary series that talks through the events of the night of White’s death and the aftermath.

Some of the members of The Cardiff Five will feature as well, giving their perspective on what really happened.

Once the first episode airs, the entire mini-series will be ready to watch on BBC iPlayer.

A Killing in Tiger Bay will air tomorrow night, Thursday, September 9, at 9pm on BBC Two.

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