Karen Price was just 15 when she disappeared in July 1981. She was living in a residential children's home in south Wales and had a history of running away, but when she disappeared that summer she'd never return.
Eight years later, her skeletal remains were found wrapped in a carpet by workmen digging in the back garden of a house on Fitzhammon Embankment in Cardiff. The identity of the body was unknown. Forensic experts knew it was a young woman, but that was all. Police appeals were fruitless so experts turned to something they'd never done before. Using Karen's skull, experts made a clay replica of the teen's head - only then was she identified.
Her murder was assumed to have taken place shortly after her disappearance in 1981. At that time, the basement flat of the address where her body was found was occupied by Alan Charlton, a local bouncer.
In 1991, Charlton and another man, Idris Ali, were convicted of Karen Price's murder. Both had pleaded not guilty. The pair appealed the convictions and in 1994 a court dismissed Charlton's case but quashed Mr Ali's conviction and ordered a retrial. At that trial, Mr Ali pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was freed. Charlton has remained in prison ever since.
In 2009, Charlton applied to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) for a review of his case. Five years later in 2014, after a complex and lengthy investigation, the CCRC referred Charlton's conviction to the Court of the Appeal on the grounds that it considered there was a 'real possibility' that the court would quash the conviction.
The appeals against conviction of both Charlton and Mr Ali were dismissed this morning.
...the only way in which an appeal could succeed is if we were to find that the prosecution offended the court’s sense of justice and propriety to the extent that it amounted to an abuse of process. As we have indicated, we do not. The police misconduct in this case proven or alleged was not such as to offend our sense of justice or amount to an abuse of process.