Cleared husband criticises police

A man cleared of the murder of his Welsh wife on their honeymoon in India, after first being imprisoned for 16 months, has criticised South Wales Police for their handling of his case.

Live updates

Potential eyewitness evidence 'undermined' case

The Crown Prosecution Service, which worked "closely" with South Wales Police in its investigation into the death of Colette Davies, released a statement when the case against John Clifton Davies was dropped in March.

It says that the police got new statements from two people in India - "potentially direct eyewitness evidence" - which "could be said to undermine the prosecution case."

This meant that no evidence was offered against him, and he was formally found not guilty of murder and fraud.

In November 2011 the CPS advised that, based on the evidence available at that time, John Clifton Davies should be charged with murder and two counts of fraud. As is normal in cases such as this, the police investigation continued after charges were laid.

As part of that investigation, officers from South Wales Police recently visited the Himachal Pradesh region of India.

During that visit the police became aware of significant new information including statements from two people, who had not previously come forward, who could potentially provide direct eyewitness evidence. This new information could be said to undermine the prosecution case.

In the light of these developments, the CPS reviewed the case again and concluded that the evidential requirements laid out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors are no longer met in relation to both the murder and fraud charges.

– Felicity Galvin, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, Wales - statement from March

Wife fell 80ft down steep gorge on Indian honeymoon

Colette Davies died after falling from a gorge in India in 2004.

John Clifton Davies, who is originally from Milton Keynes, was accused of killing his wife Colette to claim £132,000 in her life insurance payout.

They married in 2003, and went on a delayed honeymoon to India 14 months later.

A week into the holiday, Colette fell more than 80ft from a viewing point at a steep gorge in the Imichal Pradesh region.

Her body was flown back to her home town of Bridgend where she was cremated after an inquest recorded an open verdict.


Police: New information led to husband being cleared

South Wales Police says "new and significant information came to light" which led to the case against John Clifton Davies to be dropped.

He has criticised the force for holding him for 16 months without bail, before finally speaking to key witnesses.

In 2010, South Wales Police launched an investigation into the death of 39-year-old Colette Davies which occurred in India in 2004.

Following a joint investigation with Himachal Pradesh State Police in Northern India and in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, a 50-year-old man was charged with her murder and fraud.

During the investigation which continued following the charge, new and significant information came to light which has been reviewed by the CPS.

As a result of this review it has now been decided that proceedings will be discontinued.

– South Wales Police statement

Murder-accused husband criticises police

A man who was imprisoned for 16 months after being accused of murdering his Welsh wife, has criticised South Wales Police over their handling of the case.

Collette Davies, from Bridgend, was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in a remote part of India during her honeymoon with John Clifton Davies in 2004. Mr Davies was arrested seven years later and charged with murder and fraud, but was cleared of all charges last month.

He told this morning's Daybreak that his time in prison was "horrendous", said "a lot of questions have to be asked" about South Wales Police and that his lawyers are "looking serious" into what steps he can take now.

Back to top