Lynette White murderer Jeffrey Gafoor allowed out of prison on day release

Jeffrey Gafoor was finally found guilty of Lynette White's murder in 2004 after advances in DNA technology. Credit: Media Wales

A man who murdered a Cardiff sex worker in a case that led to a miscarriage of justice has been allowed out of prison on day release.

Lynette White, 20, was stabbed more than 50 times by Jeffrey Gafoor at her flat in Butetown on Valentine's Day 1988.

Despite being allowed out for day release, a Parole Board has rejected Jeffrey Gafoor’s latest application to be set free immediately.

In 1988 police issued a photofit of a white man as the main suspect, but three black men - Tony Paris, Yusef Abdullahi and Stephen Miller - were wrongly found guilty of the murder.

Their convictions were later quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Eventually, after advances in DNA technology, Gafoor was convicted of the murder in 2004 and jailed for life.

The sentencing judge said that he should serve a minimum of 13 years before being considered for parole.

Last month the Parole Board considered whether he should be set free. A report to the Ministry of Justice confirms that Gafoor “had successfully undertaken temporary releases from prison”.

Lynette White was murdered by Jeffrey Gafoor in 1988. Credit: PA

It says the Parole Board panel could only direct release if it was satisfied that it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public that Gafoor remained confined in prison.

It adds: ”[The] panel considered the contents of Mr Gafoor’s dossier, prepared by the Secretary of State. This included up-to-date reports from Mr Gafoor’s probation officer based in the community and other documentation from the establishment, including psychological assessments.

“The panel had the benefit of a victim's personal statement. The panel considered very carefully the impact and consequences of Mr Gafoor’s crimes which had been outlined in this statement.”

Risk factors from the time of the offence included problems with self-control and the management of intense emotions which lead to extreme violence and the use of weapons.

The report states: “Mr Gafoor could ruminate and act out of a sense of grievance, not understanding the harm that his actions caused to the victim. He had also misused alcohol. His difficulties in maintaining relationships meant he experienced social isolation.

“He had previously participated in accredited programmes to address his offending risks and had worked one-to-one with prison psychological services. He had graduated to open conditions where he had successfully undertaken temporary releases from prison.

“Mr Gafoor’s custodial conduct continued to cause no concerns. Since his last parole review, Mr Gafoor had been relocated to another open prison. He was reported to have progressed and to have coped well with this development and with a change of probation officers supervising his case.

Jeffrey Gafoor has had to serve a minimum of 13 years before being considered for parole. Credit: PA

“Though Mr Gafoor’s probation officer and other key report writers suggested remaining in open conditions would provide the measured pace needed to prepare him for safe release, the panel examined an outline release plan and weighed this against assessed risks.

“The plan included a requirement to reside in designated accommodation as well as strict limitations on Mr Gafoor’s contacts, movements and activities, but the panel concluded these plans were not robust enough to manage Mr Gafoor in the community at this stage.

“After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and other evidence presented in the dossier, the panel was not satisfied that Mr Gafoor was suitable for release.

“However, on considering the criteria for recommending placement in open conditions, the panel recommended that Mr Gafoor should remain in this location.”

Gafoor will be eligible for another parole review in due course.

Author Satish Sekar, who has written books on the Lynette White murder and who campaigned for years for further DNA tests to be carried out on material from the crime scene, said: “Extreme violence was used in the murder and a further aggravating factor was Gafoor’s willingness to see innocent people be sent to prison for his crime.

“While it is right that Lynette White’s family should be listened to, the Parole Board should also in future proactively seek victim statements from the families of those who were wrongly convicted.

"It is shocking that Gafoor’s ‘tariff’ of 13 years is below that of two of the men who were wrongly convicted."

 Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...