Second 'body in carpet' conviction under scrutiny

Idris Ali, 48, was convicted in 1991 of murdering 15-year-old Karen Price. The Criminal Cases Review Commission said it had invited Mr Ali to apply to them for a review of his conviction and has now received his application.

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Idris Ali applies for review of Karen Price conviction

A man who admitted killing a Cardiff teenager whose remains were found wrapped in carpet 25 years ago has applied for a review of his conviction.

Idris Ali, 48, was convicted in 1991 of murdering 15-year-old Karen Price after she disappeared from a children's home.

Idris Ali leaving court in 1994

That conviction was quashed after an appeal in 1994 and he admitted manslaughter in the resulting retrial.

More: IPCC says 'important questions raised' over South Wales Police conduct in 80s and 90s

Today the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) said it had invited Mr Ali to apply to them for a review of his conviction and has now received his application.

Two weeks ago the CCRC referred the murder conviction of Alan Charlton to the Court of Appeal.

Mr Charlton pleaded not guilty to the murder of 15-year-old Karen Price, but was convicted in February 1991 at Cardiff Crown Court.

Alan Charlton conviction for Karen Price murder sent to appeal

One of Wales' most infamous murder cases is being referred back to the Court of Appeal by the official body that handles possible miscarriages of justice.

The move comes more than thirty years after the disappearance of Cardiff teenager Karen Price in the so called 'Body in the Carpet' killing.

Alexandra Lodge reports.

More: IPCC: 'Important questions raised' over South Wales Police conduct during 80s and 90s

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South Wales Police respond to Alan Charlton referral

South Wales Police have responded to the Criminal Cases Review Commission's announcement that it has referred the conviction of Alan Charlton to the Court of Appeal.

Karen Price's body was discovered in 1989

More: Police conduct concerns in Karen Price murder case

"In light of this referral we must now allow the judicial process to take its course and therefore cannot comment further at this stage” said the force's Chief Constable Peter Vaughan.

IPCC: 'Important questions raised' over South Wales Police conduct during 80s and 90s

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has responded to the Criminal Cases Review Commission's decision to refer Alan Charlton's conviction to the Court of Appeal.

Read: Timeline of Karen Price 'body in carpet' murder case

Alan Charlton arriving at court in 1994

A spokesperson said the CCRC's statement raises "important questions about the conduct of South Wales Police during the 1980s and 1990s".

"In the light of questions around other similar cases, this clearly raises serious issues for public confidence in the integrity of the force at that time."

Police conduct concerns in Karen Price murder case

The Commission says it considers "there is a real possibility that the Court will quash the conviction".

The Commission’s referral is based in part on new evidence that a number of officers from South WalesPolice who were involved in the Lynette White murder inquiry (the Cardiff Three case), and the Philip Saunders murder inquiry (the Cardiff Newsagent Three case), were also involved in Mr Charlton’s case and may have used investigative techniques similar to those used in the Lynette White and Philip Saunders cases and which contributed to the quashing of the convictions in those cases.

– Criminal Cases Review Commission

It also said a number of other factors were behind its decision:

  • The credibility of a number of prosecution witnesses
  • Concerns about "oppressive handling by the police of key witnesses which arguably mean that the trial amounted to an abuse of process"
  • Officers breaching rules over evidence and questioning suspects

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Alan Charlton murder conviction referred to Court of Appeal

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the murder conviction of Alan Charlton to the Court of Appeal.

Mr Charlton pleaded not guilty to the murder of 15-year-old Karen Price, but was convicted in February 1991 at Cardiff Crown Court. He was sentenced to life, with a tariff of 15 years, and remains in prison.

A clay reconstruction was made from the skull for comparison with a photo of Karen Price

Karen Price vanished in 1981. Her remains were found wrapped in a carpet in the garden of a house in Riverside, Cardiff in December 1989.

The basement flat at the property had been occupied by Mr Charlton at the time of Karen Price's disappearance.

Alan Charlton appealed against his conviction in 1994, but it was dismissed.

His co-defendant Idris Ali had his initial conviction quashed, and at a retrial that year pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was released, having already served five years in jail.