Mike O'Brien urges Wales Police to publish reportPublish your report into the miscarriage of justice that changed my life, wrongly convicted man to demand of police
A victim of a notorious miscarriage of justice has secured a meeting with a police chief at which he will call for the immediate publication of a report on his case.
Michael O’Brien, who spent 11 years in prison for the murder of Cardiff newsagent Philip Saunders before his conviction was quashed, says South Wales Police should release the report written two years ago by a senior detective who has since become the force’s Assistant Chief Constable (ACC).
At the time Nikki Holland wrote the report she was working for Merseyside Police.
Mr O’Brien complained that evidence against him had been fabricated by now retired Detective Inspector Stuart Lewis. The investigation into Mr O’Brien’s complaint was titled Operation Resolute.
Last year Mr O’Brien failed in a bid to overturn a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to charge Mr Lewis with perjury. The report was completed by Ms Holland in early 2012, when it was passed to the CPS for consideration in the process that led to the decision not to prosecute Mr Lewis.
Earlier this month Plaid Cymru parliamentary leader Elfyn Llwyd questioned the appointment of Ms Holland as ACC by South Wales Police while her report remained unpublished.
Responding to a request to disclose the report under the Freedom of Information Act, South Wales Police refused, saying the public interest in disclosing it was outweighed by the risk of parts of it undermining attempts to catch Phillip Saunders’ killer or killers, and prejudicing a future trial “however unlikely a prosecution may seem”. It also said that the report contains sensitive personal data.
Later, however, Chief Constable Peter Vaughan said: “I have spoken with the Police and Crime Commissioner [Alun Michael] about the publication of this report and agree with him that it is essential there is transparency in the way we approach publication.
“Of course we have to respect the legal framework within which the report was prepared and ensure that everyone named or involved is treated fairly, but we also have to be mindful of the public interest in this case.
“South Wales Police prides itself on being an open and transparent organisation and it remains our intention to publish this report in as much detail as possible.”
Mr O’Brien has now secured a meeting with Deputy Chief Constable Matt Jukes to discuss the matter. He said: “It’s essential this report is put into the public domain without further delay. South Wales Police has already accepted it has a duty to be transparent.”
A force spokesman said the report would be published “soon”.